3 Big Deals In EdTech This week (June 22)

EdTech startup WhiteHat Jr  announced its plans to expand in other global markets after growth in US for its one-to-one online coding classes. After launching their courses in the US since February this year, the company is growing at 160% MoM in the country and has over 20,000 paid subscribers across all 50 states in the US, including Alaska with 5000+ daily classes conducted. The US business has even surpassed the company’s industry-beating growth in India and is expected to account for 60% of the company’s revenues by the end of June, within just six months of kickstarting US operations. The company has now reached a $100 million annual revenue run rate within 18 months of going live driven by the phenomenal growth in US enrollments and is now the top live teaching coding platform in the world. It is backed by Nexus Venture Partners, Omidyar Network India and Owl Ventures and had raised $10 million in series A funding last year.

After successfully establishing its presence in India and the US, and supported by its fully virtual business model and positive cash flows the company is now planning to expand their offerings in other mature markets like Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand (ANZ). They’ve already done a pilot launch in Canada earlier this month and are expecting to go live in the UK and ANZ markets by the end of June. In the past three months, the company has grown from 300 employees to 1000+ employees and from 1000 teachers to 3000+ teachers and continues to aggressively onboard teachers to fulfill the demand across different markets. All sessions for students in the US are conducted by Indian teachers who are selected after a rigorous selection process.


Commenting on the development, WhiteHat Jr’s Founder and CEO, Karan Bajaj said, “Our US debut has surpassed all our expectations and is growing at 160% MoM growth, which is even higher than the growth rate we witnessed in India. We have been able to build an appreciation for the product in the US in record time and this substantiates our belief that the heightened interest in teaching kids to code at a young age with the highly qualified Indian teachers is a universal phenomenon. The success in the US has given us the confidence to expand to other mature markets like Canada, UK and ANZ. What has been equally incredible is the response to our teachers in the US which only goes to show the role that India continues to play on the global scale when it comes to cutting-edge technology skills. Coding is the skill of the future and WhiteHat Jr remains committed to empower a whole generation of kids across the world to become digital-ready entrepreneurs.”

Founded in November 2018, WhiteHat Jr helps kids aged 6 to 14 years build commercial-ready games, animations and apps online using the fundamentals of coding. WhiteHat Jr offers four levels of courses – Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Professional – for students in grades 1-9. Kids create complex games, animations and apps using logic, structure, sequence, commands and algorithmic thinking – in a live 1:1 online classroom. Early graduates of the course have created professional-ready apps downloadable on the App Store at ages as young as seven years old.

Upskilling platform, Degreed, has announced $32 million in new funding in direct response to overwhelming demand for better skill insights, talent mobility, and a user-focused learning experience. Owl Ventures led this latest round, bringing Degreed’s total funding to $182 million.

According to Human Resource Executive, 75% to 80% of workers don’t complete their HR system’s talent profile, leaving organizations without a critical data set needed to inform agile business decisions. Degreed helps companies overcome this gap by enabling employees to develop their skills and create skill profiles. Using that data, the platform can then promote career mobility by connecting users to project, gig, and job opportunities. This round of funding will accelerate Degreed’s career mobility roadmap.

“We’ve seen a tremendous surge in client demand for our career mobility product.  It’s more important than ever for companies to understand the skills of their workforce, enrich their upskilling programs, and enable internal mobility,” said Chris McCarthy, CEO of Degreed. “Employees don’t care about a system of record that they see 1-2 times per year. They need a simple, personalized experience that helps them build their skills and advance their careers.”

“Transformation is the new normal. In order for us to keep up with the changes, learning agility is key to the organization — especially because upskilling is anticipated to save organizations $1.2 billion over the next 3 years,” said Raquel Andrade, Global Head of Talent Acquisition & Learning at Itaú Unibanco, a Degreed client and the largest financial institution in Latin America, and the 16th largest bank in the world. “Only skill data can reveal to us the business areas where we need to evolve, and drive transformation from inside out at Itaú.”

Funding comes after record demand for Degreed in the last 6 months. More than one-in-seven Degreed users activated their accounts between April and May this year alone. New clients — including Ford, Fidelity Investments, and South Africa’s Standard Bank — quickly shifted their workforce strategies to empower remote work and talent mobility.

“The workforce has fundamentally shifted over the past months, and organizations are investing further in their people and skills,” said Ian Chiu, Managing Director of Owl Ventures. “The need for lifelong learning is greater than ever and with this latest funding round, Degreed is well-positioned to shape a future where a person’s skills are the measure of their success and not their job titles. Where nobody becomes irrelevant because of a lack of the right skills at the right time.”

Instructure announced that Steve Daly has been named the company’s new chief executive officer, effective July 1. Daly joins as Instructure is moving into the next phase of growth following the recent transaction to become a privately held company, and is refocusing around its core mission of innovating in education technology.

“Canvas is at the heart of improving the educational experience for students and educators by simplifying the way they interact at the point of learning,” said Daly. “For years I’ve watched Instructure and its passionate employees who have a love for education built in their DNA. I can’t wait to learn from them and work more closely with educators and students.”

Daly joins Instructure after 25 years of experience in software and technology, including 13 years as CEO of LANDESK/Ivanti, an IT management and security software company headquartered in Salt Lake City. In 2010, he led the sale of LANDESK to Thoma Bravo and then later to Clearlake Capital. During his tenure the company grew from $90M to $500M in annual revenue. Prior to LANDESK, Daly was senior vice president of corporate strategy at Avocent, which had acquired his startup, Soronti. He started his career and spent 10 years at Intel.

Daly has served on the governor’s nominating committee for the Utah State Board of Education and is on the advisory board for the Marriott School of Management Strategy Program at Brigham Young University.

The CEO transition at Instructure follows the departure of Dan Goldsmith in March. The search was led by Charles Goodman, who has been interim CEO and will remain with the company as Chair of the Board of Managers.

“Steve is a great fit for the future of Instructure and its culture,” said Goodman. “He joins as the Canvas team expands support for our customers’ remote learning initiatives and I believe they will love his desire to listen, learn, understand, and then take action in a way that will help them succeed.”

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