Acadeum, an Austin-based edtech startup that helps colleges and universities share high-quality online courses, has raised $7 million in its first round of funding to expand its platform.
The Series A round was led by Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation, with participation from Rethink Education, LearnStart and Socratic Ventures.
Founded in 2016, Acadeum offers a platform that allows colleges and universities to share online courses to improve student success. It unlocks underutilized online resources across higher education to ensure that all learners have access to the courses they need when and where they need them. Acadeum’s course sharing network or consortial model allows higher education faculty to review and pick courses from other participating institutions that, unlike transfer courses, fully count toward graduation requirements, GPA, and financial aid.
Acadeum delivers its main service through its Academic Sharing Platform, which allows for participating institutions to look through a marketplace of online courses from which they can shop. Using the company’s coursework marketplace, colleges and universities can find other institutions that are either offering or looking to buy the ability to offer a certain online course. By facilitating consortia between and among institutions, Acadeum’s Academic Sharing Platform allows colleges and universities to seamlessly exchange academic resources, student and enrolment data, and financial payments.
Explaining about the company and its work, Josh Pierce, Co-founder and CEO of Acadeum, said,
“Our work is rooted in a belief that deep collaboration is at the core of lasting innovation in higher education, as it has been in many other sectors. It reflects the transformative impact of interoperability and open networks to expand access and options for students while simultaneously enabling institutions to specialize and refine sustainable financial models.”
Acadeum’s cross-enrolment platform has powered more than 200 colleges and universities, giving access to its course-sharing networks, helping them improve student retention and completion while increasing institutional revenue. The company claims more than 5,000 students have completed courses offered through its marketplace.
Lauding Acadeum for addressing the lack of access to in-demand courses, Brad Kelsheimer, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Lumina Foundation, said,
“Lack of access to in-demand courses all too often presents a barrier to completion for students. Through its course-sharing marketplace, Acadeum addresses this challenge by supporting colleges and universities in unlocking their collective course capacity to help students get the courses they need when they need them.”
The Austin-based company plans to use the latest funding to expand its team and the reach of its online course marketplace platform. The company, which currently has 10 full-time employees, aims to increase its team to more than 20 by the end of the year.
While there are a lot of ways institutions share online courses, Acadeum aims to become the go-to marketplace connecting hundreds of colleges and universities. Their tech platform also goes beyond what most of those course exchange agreements cover by providing course reservations, grading and information exchanges and B2B payments.