Wonderschool, an education technology (edtech) startup that enables any qualified person to launch their own in-home childcare services, has closed a $20 million series A round of funding led by Andreesson Horowitz, with participation from Omidyar Network, First Round, Gary Community Investments, Cross Culture Ventures, Uncork Capital, Rethink Education, Edelweiss, and Lerer Hippeau, along with a bunch of other angel investors.
Founded out of San Francisco in 2016, the Wonderschool marketplace and platform helps childcare providers and educators with licensing, marketing, program setup, and other key areas as they get their own domestic preschools and daycare services up and running. Through an online dashboard, they can track students, list schedules, manage programs, and more. It’s like an Airbnb for kindergarten.
Some reports suggest that 42 percent of U.S. children under the age of five live in “childcare deserts,” areas with limited access to affordable childcare services. This is a problem Wonderschool wants to fix by making it easier for anyone to turn their homes into preschool or daycare services.
“Wonderschool addresses both sides of the early childhood education marketplace, supply and demand,” said Chris Bennett, cofounder and CEO of Wonderschool. “Our platform provides an option for educators, who are all too often priced out of the career they love, to continue to develop and teach, while ultimately bringing parents more high-quality, local options.”
Prior to now, Wonderschool had raised $4.1 million in funding, and with another $20 million in the bank it plans to grow its existing markets in Los Angeles, New York, and the San Francisco Bay Area, where there is a shortage of preschool and daycare services due in part to high-density populations. The funds will also be used to develop new products and services.
“With this investment, Wonderschool can continue to scale quickly and not only create more openings for children, but also help experienced educators become ‘edupreneurs’,” Bennett added.
Wonderschool now claims 140 schools operating through its platform, with 500 educators in the process of opening shop.