AltSchool bags $33M in Series A round

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Mar 18, 2014 10:22 AM EDT

Education-focused startup AltSchool has secured $33 million in its Series A funding round, TechCrunch reported.

Founders Fund and Andreessen Horowitz led the round for the startup that intends to transform education by forming micro-school communities where students are given personalized learning experiences. The startup also received follow-on investment from First Round Capital and Harrison Metal. John Doerr, Jonathan Sackler, Learn Capital and Omidyar Network also joined the round, the report said.

As part of the deal, Brian Singerman of Founds Fund will become part of the Board of Directors of AltSchool. Before this fundraising, the company was able to obtain $3 million from FirstRound Capital, Harrison Metal, Baseline and other investors. Over half of the proceeds raised will go towards getting more people with product, engineering and design expertise to establish the technology infrastructure that the startup needs. AltSchool has also started the process of turning itself to become a certified benefit corporation, the report said.

Aardvark Founder and Google veteran Max Ventilla founded AltSchool.  In an interview with TechCrunch last year, Ventilla said that although a lot has been spent for the educational system in the US, the overall experience still leaves much to be desired.

He said, "If a time traveler came back from the early 1900s, and looked at schools, they would look relatively the same. And there's something wrong with that, because children and our world have changed."

With this in mind, AltSchool was born. Working on the belief that students have different skill levels in different subject areas, the startup provides specialized attention to their students since each absorbs learning at different levels. Teachers make very personalized Playlists or curricula every week for the student, comprised of around 10 goals that the latter needs to accomplish. AltSchool provides each student with an iPad Mini since the school's educational approach is technology-enabled, the report said.

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