Mark Zuckerberg Puts His Money in Ed-Tech Startup
Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg is spreading his wealth with what appears to be his first national equity investment through his foundation Startup:Education. The lucky startup is Panorama Education, a Cambridge, Mass.-based company that utilizes surveys among teachers, students, administrators and parents to garner feedback and provide findings to the school district.
"We are using technology to address some of the most difficult problems in education," Panorama Education co-founder Aaron Feuer said in a statement. "We are tremendously excited to have Mark Zuckerberg involved because of his passion for technology and education."
Zuckerberg, along with his wife Priscilla Chan, co-led the $4 million seed round with Jeff Clavier of SoftTech VC and had participation from Google Ventures, Ashton Kutcher's A-Grade Investments and Yale University.
“Priscilla and I are excited to support Panorama Education and its mission. Their company is an exciting example of the way technology can help teachers, parents and students make their voices heard,” said Zuckerberg in a statement.
The funds will be used for analytics tools and free services for teachers. It has also been reported that Panorama Education plans on using the capital to expand its footprint in the U.S. and launch in the international market.
Panorama Education was founded in 2010 by Feuer, along with Xan Tanner and David Carel -- all Yale undergraduates at the time. Panorama Education claims it works with 4,000 schools serving more than one million students. They are looking to tackle such issues as bullying, safety and student engagement, while also providing a platform for teacher growth.
The startup makes money through annual licenses paid by the school districts ranging from $200 for small locations to hundreds of thousands of dollars for larger areas. So far the Panaroma Education counts the Los Angeles Unified School District and Connecticut State Department of Education among its clients.