Khosla Ventures leads Series B round for Piazza

Piazza has raised $8 million in Series B funding. Khosla Ventures led the round with participation from previous investor Bessemer Venture Partners. In conjunction with the funding, Keith Rabois, a general partner at Khosla, has been added to Piazza’s board of directors. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., Piazza is a social learning platform.

PRESS RELEASE

PALO ALTO, CA — (Marketwired) — 02/25/14 — Social learning platform Piazza today announced Piazza Careers, its new recruiting platform that will transform how college students and employers connect. Prestigious companies including Box, Hearsay Social, Palantir, SpaceX and Yelp have already begun using the platform to develop relationships with the most talented college students, drawing from a pool of more than a million students who have used Piazza to succeed in school. Piazza also announced that Khosla Ventures has led an $8 million Series B investment in the company. Bessemer Venture Partners, which led Piazza’s Series A, also participated. Khosla general partner Keith Rabois joins Ethan Kurzweil and Ross Fubini on Piazza’s board of directors. In addition to expanding the new Piazza Careers platform, the company’s latest round of funding will be directed towards R&D and marketing efforts.
Piazza Careers Connects Students and Employers
Piazza Careers builds on the spectacular growth of Piazza’s Q&A platform. Enrollments in Piazza classes grew 223 percent between the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 academic years, from 236,000 to 762,000. Engagement on Piazza has remained high, with students continuing to spend an average of two-three hours per night on the platform. More than half the undergraduates — including almost all of the engineering majors — at Stanford, Berkeley, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Princeton and Georgia Tech use Piazza. The product has also spread to hundreds of schools in the U.S. and more than 60 countries abroad.
“No other company has engaged college students the way that Piazza has. The most talented young people in the country rely on it every day for learning, which is the single most important thing they do,” said Mr. Rabois. “Now Piazza Careers eases the entire transition from school to work by opening an uncommon dialogue between students and organizations, providing a level of depth that goes way beyond any type of matching algorithm. Piazza has fundamentally revamped the college hiring model so that for the first time, finding jobs can be meritocratic where the best students can get connected with the best jobs regardless of where they go to school.”
Piazza Careers uses Piazza’s reach to give students relevant guidance for the next step in their lives. Employing Piazza’s unique database of students’ academic histories, Piazza Careers can connect students to peers on campus and beyond, to recent alumni who have similar academic backgrounds, and to hiring managers at companies, non-profits, or research labs.
Because Piazza engages students in hundreds of colleges and tens of thousands of classes, Piazza Careers lets hiring managers zero in on students who meet their precise criteria regardless of which school they attend, broadening companies’ reach while presenting students at regional schools with a wider range of opportunities than they have ever had.
“I had heard about Box from a friend, but it doesn’t recruit on campus at Tufts,” said Andrew Dempsey. “I learned more about its mission, culture, the types of experiences the team values, and how my coursework related through Box’s profile and employee statements on Piazza Careers. I applied for an internship directly through the Careers platform and Box responded immediately. Now I am headed to the Valley this summer and I couldn’t be more excited to contribute to an amazing company like Box.”
Piazza Careers also lets hiring managers nurture relationships with students over time, giving companies with smaller recruiting budgets a chance to engage potential employees without traveling.
“Whether your business is consumer or enterprise-focused, building the right team is crucial for success. It’s hard enough to identify an ideal hire, but in this environment, we’re likely competing with several other companies for the same person,” said Steve Garrity, CTO and Founder of Hearsay Social. “Piazza Careers lets us run a full-scale college recruiting program and tailor our efforts to the students we want so that we can show them what makes Hearsay Social an amazing place to work. Piazza helps us stand out in a pretty remarkable way.” Piazza Careers respects students’ privacy so interactions with potential employers occur on an opt-in basis. Academic graduate programs and non-profits can use Piazza Careers for free to contact interested students while for-profit companies pay for the service.
“I’ve always believed that students and instructors deserve a world-class social learning experience, and that it needs to be free,” said Pooja Sankar, CEO and founder of Piazza. “I’m delighted that companies seeking to hire new graduates recognize the value that Piazza provides and are eager to participate in ways that enhance its role in students’ lives while protecting their privacy. Piazza Careers is a boon to students, instructors, universities, and companies.”
As always, individual instructors and students can sign up for Piazza for free at piazza.com. Hiring managers can learn more about Piazza Careers at recruiting.piazza.com.
About Piazza
Founded in 2009 and publicly launched in 2011, Piazza is a free online gathering place where students can ask and answer questions 24/7, under the guidance of their instructors. Anyone can create a class at Piazza.com to initiate class discussion. Students spend hours a day on Piazza working together in real time with classmates and instructors to find the answers they need at the time they need them. Students and alumni can also use the Piazza Careers platform to connect with companies, apply for jobs and internships, and find out more about the skills needed to excel in their chosen careers. Piazza is FERPA-compliant and used in hundreds of colleges and universities.
For more information, please go to www.piazza.com.

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