GradeSlam, the education company founded by McGill University graduates Philip Cutler and Roberto Cipriani, announced today that it raised 7.5 million USD in funding.
Along with the funding announcement, the team is rebranding to Paper.
Reach Capital lead the funding, supported by Bullpen Capital. Also participating were existing investors Birchmere Ventures, BDC Capital, Real Ventures, Google, Red House Education, Edovate Capital, and Anges Quebec.
All about ESSs
GradeSlam, now Paper, sells its online platform to school districts and educational organizations. The platform assists both overwhelmed teachers and students who need the extra support.
The rebrand focuses on “Educational Support Systems” or ESS. In a nutshell, this is extra support for students beyond the classroom. GradeSlam said its rebrand to Paper stresses the importance that these ESSs for students, teachers, and administrators.”
“Since inception, our mission has always been to provide true educational equity,” Cutler said. “Paper solves a compelling problem facing our public school districts – how do you guarantee every student has an equal opportunity to succeed? We support every student in their individual learning style while giving teachers the resources they need to be effective educators.”
Cutler started GradeSlam in 2014 with the goal to give every student in a school or district access to online tutoring support. The company had signed deals with at least 200 partners. Partners ranged from school districts in southern California to the Canadian Junior Hockey League. GradeSlam reached more than 160,000 students in 2018 alone.
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Cutler said Educational Support Systems will be a transformative part of the K-12 education system. They will improve student achievement and increasing teacher effectiveness.
Paper is here
That’s where Paper comes in. School districts can partner with the company to enhance learning for students.
“When a school district implements Paper, they are taking real action. They are sending a message to their teachers, students, parents, and administrators that their community is going to be supported,” Cutler said.
What exactly will that look like? Paper wrote that “major enhancements will be revealed at the start of the 2020-2021 school year.”
Paper’s investors share the founders’ confidence. “Not all students are receiving the same opportunities and resources they need to excel,” said General Partner of Reach Capital Wayee Chu. “Studies continue to show that individualized learning and
intervention can positively impact confidence, problem-solving skills, and intellectual independence, which is why we’re proud to support the vision Paper is putting forward.”
“Having had a front seat for the growth GradeSlam has had over the last few years, we recognize the momentum they’ve developed as a result of their team’s passion and dedication,” said Ned Renzi, Partner at Birchmere Ventures. “The 2020-21 school year will be another inflection point for how we can apply innovation in education to create meaningful, lasting and positive change.”