FreshGrade, Built by Club Penguin's Lane Merrifield, Raises $4.3 Million

FreshGrade has raised $4.3 million in seed funding.

The Kelowna-based startup raised the capital from education and venture capital firms: NewSchools Venture Fund, Emerson Collective, Accel Partners, and Social Capital.

The currently hiring Canadian company is an education resource for administrators, teachers, and parents allowing for maximum classroom engagement and real-time assessment by mirroring how people communicate and use technology today.

"FreshGrade is designed to provide richer reporting and communication capabilities while cutting down on the amount of time required from teachers and administrators," said FreshGrade cofounder Steve Wandler.

FreshGrade was founded in 2011 by Wandler, Lane Merrifield, and Mark Payne. Merrifield founded Club Penguin, which he sold in just a couple of years to Disney in 2007 for $350 million.

"At the end of the day FreshGrade is about students, and how we can optimize the educational journey," said Merrifield.

This fall the Surrey School District, the largest school district in BC, will implement FreshGrade as its standard reporting tool.

"FreshGrade has done something unique in the edtech marketplace – they have built a single platform to align parents, students and teachers around a child's learning goals," says Jennifer Carolan, Managing Director, Seed Fund at NewSchools Venture Fund.

"We know a high quality education requires a partnership between families and schools, and FreshGrade makes that partnership even stronger," noted Brad Powell, Managing Director, Investments at Emerson Collective.

"There is considerable excitement about the potential of this resource and how it can assist students and parents in better understanding and promoting learning and success," Jordan Tinney, CEO of the Surrey School District, said.

Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

FreshGrade understands how demanding being a teacher is. In a class filled with young minds ready to learn, expectations are growing, technology is changing, traditional practices and methods are evolving, and teachers are caught in the middle. And, like you, we’re excited about the idea of individualized learning, but we know it’s expensive and time consuming. We make it possible to capture... more

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes and author of Tempest Bound. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys hiking, tennis, and martial arts. more

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