After gaining support from the likes of football star Tom Brady, Class Technologies now has the SoftBank seal of approval.
The Japanese tech conglomerate’s SoftBank Vision Fund 2 led a $105 million Series B round that was announced Wednesday for D.C.-based Class, an edtech platform that allows teachers to complete tasks like taking attendance, proctoring exams and talking one-on-one with students through Zoom.
Other investors in the round include GSV Ventures, Emergence Capital, Maven Partners, Owl Ventures, Insight Partners, Leesburg, Virginia-based SWaN & Legend Venture Partners, D.C.-based Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Fund, Learn Capital, Reach Capital, Slow Ventures, Sound Ventures, Chimera Investment, Daher Capital, Guy Oseary, Bill Tai and Brady.
According to CEO Michael Chasen, the funding will be used for company growth, product and quality assurance and expanding into new markets following the interest the company has seen from schools and universities worldwide. Prior to Class, Chasen was best known for founding local edtech company Blackboard.
“This $105 million of financing, when combined with the other $60 million we’ve raised, it really puts us in a position to make sure that we are an important long-term player in this space,” Chasen told Technical.ly. “And we can make the investments to help make sure the schools are successful deploying this technology.”
With this raise, the total valuation for the company has reached $804 million, Chasen confirmed, meaning that the company is nearing unicorn status. It has grown almost fourfold quarter over quarter in 2021.
The momentum for the company, Chasen said, has only grown since it launched in September of 2020. Since then, it has received over 20,000 sales leads in a myriad of different countries around the world. With this funding, he said, the primary goal will be to add Class team members in the regions where it wants to expand. These include parts of Europe and the Middle East as well as Brazil, Canada, Japan and China. At present, it has the same offerings for all users, but Chasen said there’s also potential for market-specific or country-specific products in the future.
Since launching less than a year ago, the company has raised $160 million, including a $12 million investment in April from Brady and Salesforce. At the time, Chasen told Technical.ly that the company intended to use the funding for hiring, intending to grow the team to over 200 people by the end of the year to keep up with the market interest it saw in the area.
Although the company’s product is used by both schools and corporate training programs, Chasen noted that a space that will be continuing to grow more long-term is in K-12 instruction. In the spring, Chasen said he anticipated schools continuing to use Class even as in-person learning returned. While he said about a third that it has worked with have opted to lean on IRL instruction completely, others have been both taking note of the benefits of online learning and hoping to prepare themselves in case of another pandemic surge.
“You can’t train hundreds of thousands of teachers and millions of students in online learning and not expect there to be a major change in education,” Chasen said. “…We just literally made every single student — and not only the United States, but the world — engage in online learning. And even if it wasn’t for everybody… it is really good for a lot of people and it is going to forever change education.”-30-