Education software firm FreshGrade just took $4.3 million in seed funding to help teachers manage student work from the cloud.
FreshGrade is the brain child of Lane Merrifield, Steve Wandler, and Mark Payne. Merrifield previously founded Club Penguin, a multiplayer gaming platform for kids that Disney bought in 2007 for $350 million. This venture is similarly geared towards kids.
The software is supposed to connect teachers, parents, and students to a network (à la Slack) where teachers can organize lesson planning and assessments and communicate with teachers and students.
FreshGrade allows teachers to keep digital records of homework, projects, tests, and reports in individual student portfolios, which helps with grading at the end of a term. Those same portfolios also serve as a tracking device for student progress, that both students and parents can review throughout the year.
“Ultimately, our vision is to be able to streamline lesson planning and assessment and allow administrators and teachers to spend more time working with students and communicating with parents” said FreshGrade co-founder Steve Wandler in a press release.
The company operates on a freemium model, so the basic app is free. However, school administrations will have to pay for an enterprise-level version, which has some big-data functions. Of course, pricing differs for each school.
This fresh round of seed funding will help British Columbia-based organization expand operations throughout North America. Investors include NewSchools Venture Fund, Emerson Collective, Accel Partners, and Social Capital.