Sherbrooke, Québec-based education technology provider Classcraft has raised C$10 million in a Series A financing. The round was led by Investissement Québec, an investment arm of the Québec government. It was joined by Whitecap Venture Partners, Brightspark Ventures and MaRS Catalyst Fund, all of which backed Classcraft’s C$2.8 million financing in 2017. Launched in 2013 by CEO Shawn Young, President Devin Young and CFO Lauren Young, Classcraft uses technology, games and storytelling to enhance student motivation in the K-12 education sector.
SHERBROOKE, QC and NEW YORK, Sept. 17, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Classcraft, a learning company focused on improving student motivation in the K-12 education market, has closed its Series A financing, raising a total of $7.5 million ($10 million CAD). The funding round, led by Investissement Québec, will enable Classcraft to achieve its mission of making school more meaningful by promoting human connections between students and teachers. Classcraft’s existing investors — including Whitecap Venture Partners, Brightspark Ventures, and MaRS Catalyst Fund — also participated in the round.
Classcraft’s Series A financing enables the company to deepen its ability to motivate students by harnessing the power of games. The company aims to build on its success of offering its product to K-12 teachers — in 2019, Classcraft surpassed 6 million users since its debut — by partnering with schools and districts on large-scale implementations. To help bring the company scale, Classcraft has appointed its first-ever Chief Revenue Officer: Michele Shively, who most recently served as Vice President of Sales at Nearpod.
Classcraft’s approach to helping educators motivate students is rooted in the power of games, which have become a cultural phenomenon among young people — and which are designed to create intrinsic motivation.
“At Classcraft, our aspirations go beyond student engagement. We’re aiming to foster the type of intrinsic motivation that makes students care about succeeding in school,” said Shawn Young, CEO and Co-Founder of Classcraft. “We’ve made an incredible impact working with educators to improve outcomes like social emotional learning, academic performance, and school climate. This investment allows us to scale these efforts while developing new ways of leveraging games, technology, and experiences to create cultures of engagement.”
For Investissement Québec, the investment represents the firm’s interest in making a lasting social impact through education and in supporting entrepreneurship in Quebec.
“Investissement Québec is proud to play a role in consolidating Classcraft’s position in Quebec and abroad, helping to ensure its continued growth and a bright future. With this initiative, we are supporting a major player in the field, one able to offer tangible solutions to address the biggest education challenges our society is facing,” said Guy LeBlanc, Investissement Québec President and CEO. “We’re excited to see what educators and students can achieve with what Classcraft has built. And when these breakthroughs are happening in your own backyard, being able to support them means so much more.”
Classcraft’s efforts to foster meaningful personal connections come at a time when dramatic shifts in our society — including politics, the economy, and culture — have left many feeling disengaged. To help address this problem, Classcraft has broadened and deepened its ability to foster connectedness and belonging through technology and media.
Earlier this year, Classcraft announced a partnership with Thierry Karsenti, University of Montreal professor and Canada Research Chair on Technologies in Education, to research the responsible use of AI to engage K-12 students in the U.S. and Canada. And in June, Classcraft debuted Story Mode, which pushes the boundaries of what it means to go to school by helping teachers re-create the type of shared experience delivered by popular TV shows and games.
“If we want to get serious about motivating students to learn, we can no longer ignore what makes games so compelling to young people. Classcraft has figured out what makes good games and good learning experiences so engaging and applied that knowledge to make school more meaningful and collaborative for millions of students,” said Jean Guesdon, Creative Director at Ubisoft, maker of Assassin’s Creed, who advised Classcraft on the development of Story Mode.
“We’re living in a time in which the rate of change is only accelerating, and those who aren’t thriving are finding themselves increasingly marginalized. By helping young people stay connected to themselves, their peers, and the world around them, we can create generations of lifelong learners who find meaning in living and working together. Achieving this won’t just improve educational outcomes — it will help our society become happier, more productive, and more equitable,” said Devin Young, President and Co-Founder of Classcraft.
Classcraft helps educators motivate students by making learning fun. Classcraft combines time-tested pedagogy with a modern approach, harnessing the power of what kids love — games and stories — to promote connections between students and teachers that make learning more meaningful.
Founded in 2013 by brothers Shawn and Devin Young and their father, Lauren Young, Classcraft is an award-winning ed-tech company serving more than 6 million students and educators worldwide and a Quebec- and New York City-based certified B Corporation. Classcraft is used in more than 160 countries and is available in 11 languages. A Google for Education Premier Partner, Classcraft is available via Google’s App Hub and Classcraft.com.
About Investissement Québec
Investissement Québec’s mission is to foster the growth of investment in Québec, thereby contributing to economic development and job creation in every region. The Corporation offers businesses a full range of financial solutions, including loans, loan guarantees and equity investments, to support them at all stages of their development. It is also responsible for administering tax measures and prospecting for foreign investment.