Live-streaming platform Elevate K-12 raises $40m Series C to address the growing national teacher shortage
Elevate K-12, provider of high-quality live-streaming instruction for US K-12 classrooms, has closed a $40 million Series C round of funding led by venture capital firm General Catalyst.
The funding will support Elevate K-12 in its mission to solve the ongoing teacher-shortage crisis by scaling its live stream instruction model to more schools and districts that lack teachers in critical content areas due to zip code barriers. The funding will allow Elevate K-12 to invest in product and delivery to enhance school and classroom teaching experiences.
Shaily Baranwal, Founder and CEO, Elevate K-12: "We have already seen just how effective our live teaching is in classrooms, but there is so much more we can do to enhance the experience of students, schools and our live teachers. We have proven that live-streamed teaching works when done right, and we will continue to build on that. By investing in our product, service, engineering and staff, this new round of funding will allow us to make our service even more powerful as we continue to assist schools to address their teacher shortages."
The new funding arrives at a crucial time for both Elevate K-12 and the country's schooling system at large, which Baranwal says is ripe for productive innovation. Schools across the country have been struggling for years to fill vacant positions and shrink class sizes that have ballooned as a result of the teacher shortage, but the crisis has only gotten worse. A survey conducted by the National Education Association revealed that 55% of teachers say they now plan to exit the profession earlier than they planned when starting their careers. And according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 567,000 fewer educators in public schools than before the pandemic.
General Catalyst's managing partner, Hemant Taneja said the firm became interested in partnering with Elevate K-12 after seeing the success of the technology company's platform in its initial partner districts across 27 states.
Hemant Taneja, Managing Partner, General Catalyst: "Shaily Baranwal and the Elevate K-12 team have built a solution that works for all stakeholders. Students need to master new skills and subject matters. Districts need access to more quality, affordable teachers. Teachers crave more mobility and flexibility. Elevate K-12 enables all three and we think what they are building will be transformational. We are excited to join in the mission to make high-quality instruction available to all students, no matter where they live, bringing equality to education."
General Catalyst Executive in Residence, Lexi Reese, will join Elevate's board, and shared, "Elevate K-12 is providing seamless live-stream instruction with great teachers for schools plagued by the worsening teacher shortage. In doing so, they're making it possible for every child to be able to receive a high-quality education regardless of zip code. That is a right that is not being afforded to too many children today and, without education, these kids and families are set back long after school ends."
"Almost every professional landscape is evolving, and K-12 teaching is one of the last markets to see that change," Baranwal said. "Live, synchronous, structured teaching will solve countless problems for K-12 schools by providing access to teachers who don't live or work in the school's zip code. We are working to ensure that no classroom in America is without a qualified and passionate teacher, and in turn, we are offering a different lifestyle for those teachers who want to teach differently, allowing them the flexibility to teach from anywhere, which will keep them in the profession longer and drive more talent to the profession."