Outschool, an online learning platform that offers live small group classes to kids, has raised $45 million in a Series B funding round to continue innovation and inspire more learners.
The funding was announced by Mercedes Bent, Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, at TechCrunch Disrupt. The round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from Reach Capital, Union Square Ventures, SV Angel, FundersClub, Y Combinator and others, according to TechCrunch.
Founded in 2015 by Amir Nathoo, Mikhail Seregine, and Nick Grandy, Outschool provides a marketplace of live online classes for kids ages 3 to 18. It connects learners, parents and teachers to create interest-based, small-group learning experiences that take place over video chat. Outschool’s classes are led by a community of passionate teachers, and allow learners to interact over text, audio and video.
Outschool provides fun, social, and self-directed learning experiences unlike anywhere else in the world. Learners can take core subjects like math, reading, and science, as well as interest-based topics like Spanish with Taylor Swift, LEGO Engineering or Pet Reptile Social Hour. With over 50,000 live online classes, Outschool makes sure there is a class for every interest, and allow learners to explore new passions, encounter new perspectives, and build new skills by enrolling in classes with peers who share similar interests.
The startup currently has over 500,000 learners on its platform, with families and teachers spanning across over 200 countries.
Outschool first started as a marketplace and remote learning platform for homeschooled students to bolster their extracurricular activities. They soon realized that families were supplementing their kids’ traditional brick and mortar education with their interest-based classes.
Speaking about the company, Amir Nathoo told TechCrunch, “Homeschooling was interesting to us because we believed that if some new approach is going to change our education systems radically for the better, it was likely that it would start outside the existing system.”
According to Nathoo, homeschooling community had more flexibility around self-directed extracurricular activities. Nathoo said the startup aims to build a global community that supplements local school.
San Francisco-based Outschool claimed on its website that its community and classes have become central to more families and organizations than ever before during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to TechCrunch, the online educational class service saw a more than 2,000% increase in bookings from August 2019 to August 2020, and its sales around $54 million, compared to $6.5 million the year before. The report added that Outschool has turned its first profit as a result of the pandemic, and is making more than $100 million in annual run rate.
According to Nathoo, 87% of parents who purchase classes on Outschool have kids in school.
Outschool graduated from Y Combinator in 2016, and upon graduation, it secured a $1.4 million in seed round led by Collab+Sesame. In May 2019, the company raised its Series A from edtech-focused venture capital fund Reach Capital. Outschool counts Juni Learning and Varsity Tutors as its competitors among several others in the live learning space.