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Letter From the Ednition Crew: Announcement of Funding Round

April 11th, 2024

In 2021, we set out on a mission to help edtech developers and companies build and scale their applications. Today, we mark a significant milestone as we announce an investment round of $1.35M. Our investors, who share our passion for advancing learning through technology, will enable us to better support edtech providers of any size or growth stage to overcome their trickiest edtech stack challenges.

In 2008 we founded Mastery Connect, a K-12 assessment platform, which was acquired by Instructure, the makers of Canvas, in 2019. Designed to efficiently track student mastery of learning standards, we built Mastery Connect to make a lasting difference in education. Our co-founder was a lifetime educator, and we grew up in families full of educators (two of us even married teachers). So we were committed to making teachers’ lives easier and learning more impactful. We were lucky to build a team of equally passionate people, and we soon had district partners across the country.

As serial entrepreneurs, we wanted to build quickly, but we soon faced the primary challenge of successfully developing, scaling, and maintaining edtech software for K-12: rostering and interoperability. These roadblocks required us to divert time and resources to build extensive internal infrastructure and middleware tools.

Looking for a more scalable solution, we were the first to integrate with third-party data-exchanges, but found ourselves trapped: we were on a frustrating treadmill of chasing the next technology and nuance of a district implementation…and footing the bill each time. Despite a substantial investment in these internal tools, we ended up with a black-box of systems with limited data observability, automation, and interoperability. Our top–and highest paid–engineers were continually bogged down with rostering escalations and district integrations, which meant fewer dev hours spent on building really cool, innovative stuff for the classroom.

As we talked with other edtech developers, we found we were all trying to solve for these “middleware” pieces, a completely unique development challenge in the edtech space. We also found no one had good answers to overcoming the deceivingly complex and expensive obstacles. So we carried on, dedicating countless development hours–and millions of dollars–to the problem, time and money that could’ve been better spent focusing on our core business.

It was this decade-long struggle that led to the inception and launch of Ednition and our platform, RosterStream. RosterStream puts rostering, observability, automation, and interoperability on cruise control. Unlike existing rostering and interoperability solutions, we prioritize solving vendor infrastructure needs rather than focusing on school and district tools. This eliminates costly vendor-side work, like SSO and LTI setup, bypasses the tolls of dated data exchange services, and allows applications to integrate with any SIS or third-party data provider. This means RosterStream users are able to connect with and support the smallest schools to the largest districts.

In short, Ednition was designed from the start to be infrastructure-as-as-service specifically for k-12 edtech providers. And our commitment to delivering holistic data is shown in recent releases, including our Extended Data Domains feature, which reaches beyond core rostering and includes data domains such as: attendance, discipline, assessment, school calendar, intervention, and more. These updates come on the heels of new migration tools and services designed to help partners transition smoothly from paid data exchange services to direct-to-district connections.

As we look to the future, companies are grappling with how to meaningfully integrate AI-powered solutions into their products. We believe that seamless data flow in the edtech ecosystem is a precondition for AI to move from experimental and theoretical to truly transformational in the space. Unlocking data flows empowers edtech to harness AI’s power and actualize whole-child, learner-centered education.

We’re grateful to be in good company on this journey. Our financing round is led by an outstanding group of Angel Investors, many of whom supported our previous venture, Mastery Connect. They’re joined by institutional capital from GSV Ventures, Reach Capital, Avalanche VC, and Long Term Impact. We’re thankful to this group of forward-thinkers who understand what’s possible when edtech developers can focus on the work that directly impacts outcomes for teachers and students.

This weekend we’ll be at ASU+GSV, showcasing Ednition and our RosterStream platform to the brightest minds in education. Find us during the AIR Show at booth P19 on April 13th and 14th, and at the Summit on the 15th through the 17th.

If you're interested in joining us on the Ednition journey and learning how we can help to solve  edtech stack challenges, we'd love to hear from you.


Mick and Doug

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