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ClassTag’s CEO migrates to Miami, lured by vibrant tech ecosystem and growing EdTech scene

South Florida is now home to another rising star in the EdTech space. Last month, Vlada Lotkina, co-founder and CEO of ClassTag, made the move to Miami.The startup, which has reportedly received $8.9 million in venture capital funding, has developed a platform that facilitates communications between parents and teachers.

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‘As a startup founder, it’s so important to be in an environment that is growing, expanding, and has a hunger for success and growth’ – Vlada Lotkina, co-founder and CEO of ClassTag

South Florida is now home to another rising star in the EdTech space. Last month, Vlada Lotkina, co-founder and CEO of ClassTag, made the move to Miami.

The startup, which has reportedly received $8.9 million in venture capital funding, has developed a platform that facilitates communications between parents and teachers.

Lotkina immigrated from Ukraine to the US in 2006 to undertake an MBA at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, before landing a New York-based consulting role at BCG. She then worked as a senior director and practice lead at data storage consultancy Dell EMC.

Lotkina told Refresh Miami that the inspiration to migrate to Miami from New York came on a winter vacation last year. “When I was here, I met a few of my founder friends, and they brought me to events,” she explained. “I felt the energy, and it felt like something very exciting was happening here.”

She continued: “As a startup founder, it’s so important to be in an environment that is growing, expanding, and has a hunger for success and growth. Seeing some of Miami’s entrepreneurs really opened up my eyes to this opportunity.”

Just a few months later, and Lotkina and her daughter have already put down roots in the Magic City. “She loves her school in Miami, and we found a great place to live that is substantially cheaper than New York,” Lotkina said. “I’m loving it.”

While ClassTag’s 15-person team is globally distributed, there is already one employee in Tampa, and another one planning to move to South Florida in the near future. As the startup continues to grow, Lotkina signaled that she hopes to increase the company’s South Florida footprint.

Lotkina predicts that South Florida will become a hub for EdTech: “EdTech is emerging as one of the core verticals in Miami tech.” She highlighted Nearpod’s recent exit as a particularly exciting development in the local scene.

ClassTag’s suite of products includes a platform that can be viewed on web browsers or through an app. According to Lotkina, “it not only collects and retains information so there is a single source of truth for anything that parents might need to know, but it also pushes this information out according to parent preference.” Additionally, the platform automatically translates content into over 100 languages, increasing accessibility and breaking down communication barriers between teachers and parents.

The startup has a few different lines of business. Their primary revenue source had traditionally been partnerships with brands like Amazon, H&M, and Clorox. These sponsorships ensure that parents and teachers can use the platform for free.

However, taking advantage of Winston Churchill’s adage, “never let a good crisis go to waste,” ClassTag emerged from the pandemic with two new business lines. One of those two is enterprise SaaS, whereby ClassTag offers an all-in-one communications hub for school systems to purchase.

The other new income stream is eCommerce, where donations collected for teachers can be used to purchase items for the classroom – everything from crayons to cameras for Zoom. “Coming from Ukraine, I was shocked to learn that 92% of teachers are spending on average $500 out of pocket on essential supplies,” Lotkina explained.

ClassTag has received more than half a million dollars of donations for teachers. For Lotkina, this validates her thesis that ClassTag’s platform “unlocks the power of community to support teachers.” Five million parents and teachers in 25,000 schools across the US currently use ClassTag’s products.

Through the pandemic, Lotkina reports that the ClassTag team has seen significant growth and is on track to triple revenue this year Their enterprise business is expanding particularly rapidly, having experienced more than 10x growth over the last year.

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Riley Kaminer

I am a Palm Beach-based technology researcher and writer with a passion for sharing stories about the South Florida tech ecosystem. I particularly enjoy learning about GovTech startups, cutting-edge applications of artificial intelligence, and innovators that leverage technology to transform society for the better. Always open for pitches via Twitter @rileywk or www.RileyKaminer.com.

Riley Kaminer

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Source: https://refreshmiami.com/classtags-ceo-migrates-to-miami-lured-by-vibrant-tech-ecosystem-and-growing-edtech-scene/

EdTech

ConveGenius AI, India’s Leading EdTech Startup Raises $5M USD (Pre Series A) for Mass Market Direct-to-Consumer Expansion to Serve 100M Households

ConveGenius has raised $5M USD in Venture Capital funding to grow its conversational AI platform in India and South-East Asian markets.

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LONDON, SAN FRANCISCO, and SINGAPORE, Oct. 19, 2021 /CNW/ — ConveGenius has raised $5M USD in Venture Capital funding to grow its conversational AI platform in India and South-East Asian markets.

The company first launched its conversational AI platform in 2020 with a focus on providing a tailor-fit EdTech solution that offers an adaptive Whatsapp-based learning system for K-12 students from lower tier cities, who has been deeply affected by school closures amidst the COVID pandemic. Within a year of launch, Its EdTech solution has blitzscaled to 14 million monthly active users with 35 million daily conversations, catering to 10 different languages and continues to grow at a rapid pace.

With this round of funding, Convegenius.AI aims to expand its products on Whatsapp ecosystem and other Conversational AI based channels beyond EdTech, to service more customers across different verticals and allow developers to launch their solutions on the platform. ConveGenius AI will also continue to strengthen its AI / ML capabilities and is currently in advanced talks with multiple businesses to deliver sector-focused solutions to over 500 million users currently active on different chat platforms.

This funding round was led by new investors, BAce Capital, Heritas Capital and 3Lines Venture Capital as well as existing investor, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation.

Quotes by Stakeholders:

  • “As schools were closed over prolonged periods during the pandemic, we believe that ConveGenius is well placed to tackle the learning crisis and gaps that have severely impacted students across India and in other emerging markets in the region. We are pleased to support ConveGenius in their mission to further scale their impactful solutions, providing greater access to affordable quality education for all,” said Ms. Janet Chia, Head of Venture Capital at Heritas Capital.

  • “ConveGenius has focused on the broad and hitherto unserved market of 235M students who belong to the first-generation mobile internet users with households using smartphones and mobile devices for the first time. Its focus on mass market users and democratisation of personalised content distribution by building conversational user experiences for mobile devices has created a niche segment for innovation and value creation,” said Pallab Chatterjee, Chairman 3 Lines VC Rocket Fund.

  • “The Dell Foundation first invested in the company in 2016 and we believe this is the right time to take the product to millions of children by launching the direct-to-consumer (D2C) version,” says Prachi Windlass (Director, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation).

  • “We are excited to execute on our mission to take our value proposition to one billion users globally and make knowledge and content accessible for all in a one-click experience,” said Jairaj Bhattacharya, the CEO of ConveGenius.

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View original content:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/convegenius-ai-indias-leading-edtech-startup-raises-5m-usd-pre-series-a-for-mass-market-direct-to-consumer-expansion-to-serve-100m-households-301402964.html

SOURCE ConveGenius International

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View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/October2021/19/c2623.html

Source: https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/convegenius-ai-indias-leading-edtech-051500018.html

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Frontlines Media- The Ed-Tech Company Fetching Jobs To Thousands Of Graduates – News About School

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New Delhi, Oct 14: Technology is becoming an increasingly important part of education beyond classroom engagement tools. The use of ed-tech extends far beyond reading books and has become increasingly important for education. Though technology can never replace great teachers, the right teacher can transform the next generation with incredible results through technology. Amidst all these advances and innovations, Frontlines media, a social media active page, is doing wonders in fetching jobs to thousands of young graduates.

The Founder’s inspiring story –

The idea of commencing such an intriguing and valuable project first came into the mind of Krishna, who is an electronic engineer by profession. Krishna left his job in Australia and came back to India to start his own company, an ed-tech business proving to be a successful venture. The company has fetched 400+ placements opportunities in the last eight months.

In one of his talks with the media, he has made a point to mention his friend Upendra, who stood beside him when needed and is also one of the central pillars of Frontlines Edu-tech. Upendra has seven years of great experience in the IT industry that has helped the company to understand the demand of the technological world.

The two friends studied the current scenario of the rural students of India who remain jobless after the completion of their graduation. Due to the high population and less technical skills, rural youths find it very difficult to get a job. On the flip side, the companies in India are looking for graduates with good technical skills. That is how the idea of Frontlines media came into existence. The two friends came up together to build a platform that provides varieties of opportunities to learn about technology and helps to increase employment opportunities.

Krishna says, “All the acknowledgement we are receiving now couldn’t have been possible without our students who trusted us with their career and are successfully securing jobs.”

Opportunities –

The company offers free career guidance sessions with industry experts, train students with the best quality trainers at an affordable price and help them in fetching jobs. Additionally, it provides various job notification and acknowledges students about emerging trending and cutting edge technologies. The mentors in Frontlines Edu Tech are well trained and qualified from IITs, IIMs, Top MNCs, DRDO, and other premier organizations. In addition to the above description, the company offers opportunities such as basic aptitude and reasoning to all fundamental programming languages in addition to some cutting edge technologies like cyber security, blockchain, etc.

The ed-tech company has trained around 1200+ students, Fetched 750+ jobs, and mentored around 4000+ students. The majority of these students come from rural areas.

Krishna, the head of Frontlines media, has dedicated the company’s success to the efficient core team members- Gouthami, Ranjith, Harish, Nanda Kishore, Shiva, Vishnu, and Vamshi.

The description of the core team members are as follows-

Krishna – the CEO of Frontlines media, left his job and returned to India from Australia to start his dream company. He is a qualified electronics engineer.

Upendra – the Co-founder of the company, having seven years of experience in the IT industry.

Gouthami – One who gave the idea of starting an Edu-Tech company and the support team member who always drives frontlines ed-tech with innovative ideas.

Ranjith – Having grown up in a rural area, he now helps other students crack interviews and shape their careers.

Harish & Raghava – The members of the support team who lead the student grievance cell.

Swathi – Works in the administration department.

Sai Kumar – Works as a cyber security expert.

The mentor team consists of Nanda Kishore, Shiva, Vishnu, Vamshi, and Sai Kiran.

Ed-tech- the fastest growing industry –

Over the past few years, ed-tech sectors have experienced rapid growth, and the pandemic has accelerated their growth. Surprisingly, in India, the ed-tech industry is the top priority in the list of fundings just after the services provided by the financial institutions. Frontlines media started with only three students in a batch and currently running with 250+ students every month. The success and growth achieved by the company have gained the attention of many youths in the country. In the coming years, it is expected to reach extreme heights and show positive growth. They are looking forward to mentor more students towards a successful career by providing them with the best of their ability.

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Source: https://newsaboutschool.com/frontlines-media-the-ed-tech-company-fetching-jobs-to-thousands-of-graduates/

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EdTech

Startup Class Technologies Bets Big on the Future of Online Learning (and Zoom) – EdSurge News

Shout the information It might not appear too shocking that one of many best-funded edtech startups previously yr of pandemic has been an organization that piggybacks on the success of … Read More

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It might not appear too shocking that one of many best-funded edtech startups previously yr of pandemic has been an organization that piggybacks on the success of Zoom so as to add instruments for working on-line lessons. But the sheer measurement of its fundraising might elevate some eyebrows.

Class has raised greater than $165 million from a mixture of sources together with GSV Ventures, Owl Ventures and Reach Capital because it was based almost a yr in the past. Last month EdSurge sat down with its founder and CEO, Michael Chasen, to search out out what he’s seen to this point and the place the corporate hopes to go subsequent.

Chasen is a well-known determine in edtech: he co-founded Blackboard, one of many largest suppliers of studying administration techniques to schools and faculties, and served as its CEO for years. As he watched his personal youngsters modify to on-line education in the course of the pandemic, he felt that Zoom lacked options to let lecturers deal with customary classroom actions similar to taking attendance or giving quizzes.

He knew that Zoom had a growth equipment, or SDK, that allow different software program combine on prime of the video platform, so he determined to construct these options into what grew to become Class.

“Now you can use Zoom, but take attendance, hand out assignments, give tests or quizzes, proctor those exams, and talk one-on-one with the students,” he says. “We let you replicate the physical class in an online environment.”

The plan when the corporate began was to start out with increased training and Ok-12 and later increase into the company studying market. But Chasen stated Class received so many inbound requests from the company aspect that they’ve performed extra there already than initially thought.

In company coaching, he stated, “they moved these classes online, and they found that the employees are more engaged with the live teacher. If you tell your employees, ‘You could take this management course, it’s self-paced, it’s on your own,’ Half of them get around to it. Half of them don’t don’t really care. If you tell them, ‘It’s at seven o’clock on Wednesday night, there’s a teacher there,’ everybody shows up. And they’re more engaged. And now with Zoom, you can really have a live class [remotely].”

Most faculties have been already doing at the very least some on-line training even earlier than the pandemic hit. But Chasen says that increased training additionally supplied many on-line lessons asynchronously previously, which means that college students might undergo them on demand fairly than displaying up at a set time. But he stated faculties at the moment are additionally transferring to have extra reside periods in on-line programs, and so they’re on the lookout for instruments to make that occur.

Class already has a well-funded rival to supply a next-generation on-line classroom, a startup referred to as Engageli that has raised greater than $47 million previously yr. That firm’s device was constructed from the bottom up, whereas Class is an add-on to Zoom, which signifies that establishments who wish to use Class need to additionally buy a license to Zoom in the event that they haven’t already performed so.

Chasen argues that standing on the shoulder of a fast-growing video platform means he can provide a extra strong and safe expertise. “Zoom has multi-billion dollars of video and audio architecture behind them for streaming these classes or meetings live. I could never even build that,” he stated. “I was able to focus all of our development on really adding the teaching and learning tools to Zoom. I didn’t have to worry about the audio video transcribing or anything like that.”

But if Zoom is already constructed, why does Class want all of the funding cash?

“Zoom is actually a very expensive platform to develop on,” Chasen explains. Because it is a downloadable app, his staff needed to create separate variations of Class for Windows, Chrome, Mac OS and a number of other cell working techniques. That means his growth prices are almost 5 occasions as a lot as if he constructed a chunk of software program for the online. Currently, he estimates there are between 80 to 100 folks at Class engaged on “development and consulting services.”

While Zoom has grown in training for the reason that begin of the pandemic, there are nonetheless many faculties and faculties which have already adopted a rival video platform, similar to Microsoft Teams or Google Classroom.

Lessons Learned

What did Chasen be taught from his expertise because the longtime CEO of Blackboard?

He stated his greatest benefit is that he is aware of so many figures in increased ed and Ok-12 primarily based on his earlier work, which made it simpler to type advisory teams and get suggestions as he developed Class.

At Blackboard, Chasen had a repute as one thing of a enterprise shark, shopping for up opponents and suing rivals. And many professors and faculty leaders criticized the corporate throughout that interval for not feeling like a accomplice.

Chasen says he has discovered from that have as nicely.

“When I started Blackboard I was a lot younger and I didn’t have a lot of experience,” he stated. “I don’t think we were working as closely as we should have with institutions to be getting that feedback and getting input along the way.” In distinction, he says one of many first issues he did at Class was create advisory boards to get neighborhood enter.

At the second, Chasen sees loads of faculties keen to return to in-person. But he stated that many districts have began or expanded digital academies to provide choices to these college students that do higher on-line or want the web possibility.

He stated that he sees Ok-12 as extra of a “long-term opportunity,” since faculties have been doing little on-line training earlier than the pandemic. Now, many see it as one thing to maintain within the mixture of choices sooner or later.

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#Startup #Class #Technologies #Bets #Big #Future #Online #Learning #Zoom #EdSurge #News

The plan when the corporate began was to start out with increased training and Ok-12 and later increase into the company studying market. But Chasen stated Class received so many inbound requests from the company aspect that they’ve performed extra there already than initially thought.

Source: https://www.allplacesmap.com/news/education/startup-class-technologies-bets-big-on-the-future-of-online-learning-and-zoom-edsurge-news.html

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