Possip, a woman-led edtech startup that give schools the tools to maximize the power of their communities, has raised $1 million in a seed funding round to scale its operations.
Investors participated in the round include Launch TN Impact Fund, Flywheel’s social impact accelerator in Cincinnati and angel investors.
Founded in 2017, Possip offers a platform that text parents to invite feedback about schools and teachers. The platform gets schools real-time feedback in an easy way. It lets parents share praise and feedback in multiple languages, lets schools collect and analyze feedback trends systematically, and lets schools hear and share the positive gossip parents, teachers and students have.
Possip sends parents and guardians text-message prompts like “Are you happy with the school this week?”, “What praise do you have?” and “What feedback do you have?” Schools receive actionable reports on common feedback and are alerted if any comments require a quick response. Schools have the option to change how frequently they want to text parents, or change questions if they wish. Possip recommends weekly disbursements.
The startup boasts of serving more than 50,000 users in about 100 schools across 16 states, including Tennessee, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon and Florida, creating stronger and more timely feedback loops between educators, schools and families.
Possip was founded by a black woman, Shani Dowell, a former math teacher. As a teacher, she has received her share of criticism from parents, who give only negative feedback. Experienced firsthand herself, she wanted to give communities a platform to share both positive and negative criticism, while more diplomatically informing schools about their virtues and faults. Possip claims that schools working with it experience as much as a tenfold increase in the number of families sharing and receiving feedback with their child’s school.
The company plans to use the new funding to expand partnerships with schools and districts across the United States, and also refine the product and analytics features.
Meanwhile, with this round of investment, Possip’s founder and CEO, Shani Dowell, becomes the first black woman in Tennessee – and one of fewer than 40 black women in the US – to raise more than $1 million in venture funding.