Edtech startup AllHere has raised $8 million in a Series A round, the company told Crunchbase News.
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AllHere’s AI chatbot helps schools engage with students and parents to address attendance. The idea for the company was born out of CEO and founder Joanna Smith’s experience as a math teacher and family engagement leader at a network of charter schools in Boston. Smith saw how excessive absenteeism affected student performance, and wanted to build a way to better support students and parents.
“It represented a turning point for me about how we support as a school system, families and students with evidence-based intervention at-scale,” Smith said.
The issue became more pressing with the COVID-19 pandemic and remote learning. Students and their families needed support more than ever, Smith said.
AllHere combines artificial intelligence, proactive messaging and a knowledge base that pulls personal information from a school back-office platform to engage with families. A parent, for example, can send a text to the bot and begin a conversation, with responses from the bot based on their child’s record.
AllHere also nudges students to come to class, and schools use the technology to communicate announcements to parents, such as closures and health guidelines, according to the company.
In terms of growth, AllHere grew its revenue by 700 percent in the last year and expanded from being in 1,100 schools when the pandemic started to about 8,000 schools now.
“In the last year, Joanna guided the company through a pandemic and a major product shift during which she managed to significantly grow the business. That’s just so rare,” Andrew Parker of Spero Ventures said in an email.
The timing of the Series A, which was led by Spero Ventures, comes as schools are reimagining how they support students and families as in-person learning resumes, Smith said.
The company’s total funding is now up to $12.1 million with the Series A round. The new funding will be used to expand the chatbot’s capacities so AllHere can support families through the entire lifecycle of the K-12 experience, not just in regard to absenteeism. Other areas the company wants to address in the future include retention, enrollment and assisting students with steps leading up to college or another post-secondary path.
Other investors in the company include Rethink Education, Gratitude Railroad, Potencia Ventures and the Boston Impact Initiative. SoftBank’s Opportunity Fund, Operator Collective and Yard Ventures also invested in the company for the first time in the Series A.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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