Education Startup Top Hat Monocle Scores $8M in Series A Funding

Top Hat Monocle has raised $8 million in Series A funding in a round led by Emergence Capital Partners and iNovia Capital, along with SoftTech VC, Version One Ventures (the new fund of Boris Wertz) and Golden Venture Partners. The Toronto-based education company, which has an office in San Francisco, raised $1.5 million in seed stage funding late last year.

Top Hat Monocle, which has been used in some 200 universities worldwide, provides a Web- and mobile-based classroom response system that helps students and professors engage with each other with instructor polls, quizzes and interactive demonstrations in class. Students can participate in class using any device they own, such as their cell phone, smartphone, ipad or laptop.

PRESS RELEASE

Top Hat Monocle Closes $8M In Series A Funding Led By Emergence Capital Partners and iNovia Capital

Funding to Accelerate Gamification of the Classroom

Toronto, Canada – July 18 2012 – Top Hat Monocle, a market leading mobile-based education platform that enables student engagement, today announced it has completed Series A financing. The $8 million round is led by Emergence Capital Partners and iNovia Capital, along with SoftTech VC, Version One Ventures (Boris Wertz) and Golden Venture Partners.

“We’re going to see more changes in the way students learn over next few years than we saw in the entire last century,” said Mike Silagadze, CEO of Top Hat Monocle. “By giving students and instructors the chance to interact and innovate in their day-to-day classroom environment, Top Hat Monocle is helping turn education into a more fulfilling learning experience for all involved.”

The investment will allow Top Hat Monocle to further develop their product offering to improve student engagement both in and outside of class, as well as expand their sales and marketing efforts. Top Hat Monocle is also working with professors, textbook publishers and other content providers to build interactive content, which will be delivered through its platform.

“We are actively looking at the leading industry platforms,” said Gordon Ritter, Founder and General Partner at Emergence Capital Partners. “Top Hat Monocle has created a highly-disruptive platform that is transforming teaching in the classroom. This is our first investment in education technology and we are excited to help the team scale their unique distribution model into every classroom across the globe.”

Emergence Capital Partners is an early investor in leading enterprise companies that include Salesforce.com, Yammer, Box, and SuccessFactors. Emergence partner Gordon Ritter, who has been named twice to Forbes’ Midas List of the top tech investors, and Shawn Abbott, partner at iNovia Capital and the co-inventor of the USB Key, will join the board as part of the financing round.

Top Hat Monocle previously raised a $1.5 million seed round in November 2011. Since launching their initial offering in 2010, Top Hat Monocle has been used by students at nearly 200 universities worldwide. 

About Top Hat Monocle
Top Hat Monocle, headquartered in Toronto with an office in San Francisco, is the leading mobile classroom participation provider, making the classroom experience competitive, rewarding and active for students in nearly 200 universities worldwide.

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