Top Hat Raises $130M

Top Hat, a leading active learning courseware platform for higher education, has raised $130 million in a Series E funding round, the Toronto-based company has announced recently.

Existing and long-time Top Hat investor Georgian Partners provided the new round of funding. Georgian Partners has co-led Top Hat’s $55 million Series D funding round, which was raised in February 2020, along with existing investor Inovia Capital and supported by all of the company’s existing investors.

The latest funding comes amidst news that founding CEO Mike Silagadze will step down from the role and hand over the day-to-day leadership to incoming CEO Joe Rohrlich, former Bazaarvoice Chief Revenue Officer, who, according to a statement, will take over on March 15.

Commenting on the development, Top Hat co-founder and CEO Mike Silagadze said,

“Higher education is at a pivotal inflection point brought on by growing skepticism about the value of a degree, a situation drastically accelerated by the pandemic. Top Hat’s latest round of funding enables us to accelerate our transformation of the higher education learning experience to deliver greater educational value to learners. I am confident that under the leadership of incoming CEO Joe Rohrlich, Top Hat will successfully lead the movement to redefine the higher education value equation and better support learners to succeed inside and outside the classroom.”

Top Hat intends to use the funds to continue to expand across the $10 billion North American higher education courseware industry and to fast track partnership and acquisition activities with traditional publishers to create engaging and effective course experiences.

Emphasizing on the needs to focus on learners’ experience, incoming CEO Joe Rohrlich said,

“Now is the time for us to reimagine the learner experience to enable engaging and active learning that delivers real educational value for students. Getting this right will be critical to the future of higher education. With the confidence of our investors, customers, and employees, we will build on our strong market position to reimagine a higher education learning experience that is more engaging, active, accessible, and experiential, to drive true educational value for learners.”

Founded in 2009 by Mike Silagadze and Mohsen Shahini, Top Hat provides a platform that helps educators take advantage of the very technology students bring into the classroom: Smartphones. Its interactive, cloud-based teaching platform enables teachers to engage students inside and outside the classroom with compelling content, tools, and activities. Top Hat seamlessly combines interactive textbooks, lecture slides, quizzes, and assignments all on one platform, supporting student learning before, during, and even after class.

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About the Author
Author: Stephen Soulunii
Stephen Soulunii No more a student, but love to learn. Not a teacher, but care about how students are taught. Not an educator, but want everyone to be educated. Not a social worker, but desire to see change. Not a reformer, but always want to see a better world. The author believes that only sound education can bring a better future, better world and technology can help achieve a lot in this field.

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