See the 15-page pitch deck this ex-teacher used to raise $100 million for his 24/7 tutoring software startup
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- Canadian education tech startup Paper has raised $100 million in fresh funding from IVP.
- Founded in 2014 by a former school teacher, Paper wants to make educational access more equal.
- CEO Phil Cutler said the “equity gaps” in the education system became more apparent in the pandemic.
A Canadian startup that was founded by a former school teacher has raised $100 million in fresh funding.
Paper, which provides 24/7 tutoring software to help children across the US and Canada access education materials, was set up in Montreal by Phil Cutler. School districts partner with the startup at a fixed cost to access high-quality tutoring through what Paper calls its Educational Support System (ESS).
“When schools shut down in March 2020, it became clear that so many families didn’t have the same access to resources,” Cutler, the Paper CEO, told Insider. “These equity gaps in US schools are not new, but they have become more apparent during the pandemic, and, more importantly, solving them has been prioritized by districts.”
Paper has benefitted from the increased investment in hardware like laptops and tablets by education departments during the COVID-19 pandemic with more students connected to online learning than ever.
“Billions were invested in hardware and network infrastructure to make sure students could all stay connected,” Cutler said. “Once that happened, districts then wanted to use those investments to close the equity gaps — this is where Paper came in.”
The $100 million Series C funding was led by IVP. “It was the first time that we raised money without meeting the investor face to face,” Cutler added. “This was definitely different for us. That said, Tom and the team at IVP are close with a number of our existing investors who helped both sides get to know one another quickly.”
Returning investors Framework Venture Partners, Bullpen Capital, Reach Capital, Birchmere Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, BDC Capital and ETW also participated. The funding will go towards keeping the company well capitalized so it can continue to meet the needs of students, Cutler said.
“Over the course of the last year, we’ve seen first-hand the stark inequality present in the public education system,” Tom Loverro, general partner at IVP, said. “The stakes have never been higher for the many kids being left academically behind. It’s devastating to kids, their parents, their communities, and our nation’s future.”
Loverro said that Paper had proven it addressed an “urgent need where others have failed — scaling high dosage tutoring that serves all students in need.”