Ascend Now, an EdTech firm that offers personalized online academic and beyond academic coaching and mentoring to students aged 7-17, has raised $2.1 million in its seed round led by Karen Yung, co-founder of Dulwich College International, and Peter Galante, Co-founder and COO of Language Learning.
Other investors like Rishav Kajaria, owner of Hastings Jute Mill, Kenneth Tan, Managing director and Co-managing partner of Southern Capital, and Subodh Chanrai, from food and agri-business company Olam International have also participated in the fundraise.
The Singapore-based startup will use the fresh capital to hire a chief marketing officer to lead their marketing efforts, as well as a chief technology officer to build their own development and content creation teams. Ascend Now also plans to improve its current learning management system and bolster its marketing team for the community.
Founded in 2018 by Devi Sahny in an attempt to deliver high quality, personalized learning to students, Ascend Now provides one-on-one, online synchronous sessions and personalizes it to each student by using proprietary intellectual property made by experts and examiners. The company is on a mission to develop entrepreneurship in Kids.
Talking about the platform, Founder and CEO of Ascend Now, Devi Sahny, said in a statement, "We want to be the biggest skills-content provider to K-12 students globally. A lot is changing in the edtech industry, but what is not changing as quickly is content- we feel that skills need to be taught to students such as how to cope with uncertainty, networking without fear, and self-awareness."
Last month, the company was selected as one of the 15 startups for Sequoia Spark Fellowship, a new program for female founders in Southeast Asia and India. The startups in the program will each get a US$100,000 grant from Sequoia, and they will also take part in monthly mentorship sessions, and receive hands-on support from Sequoia India portfolio specialists.
Ascend Now has partnered with international schools such as the United World College of Southeast Asia, Dulwich College, Australian International School, XCL World Academy in Singapore, Help International School in Malaysia, and Jakarta Intercultural School in Indonesia.
In the near future, the startup is also looking at partnership opportunities with schools that are not in its network.
With the latest investment, the company also plans to develop its asynchronous self-learning platform, which will include academic and entrepreneurship content. The platform will focus on skills education, with the focus being on democratizing soft skills education globally and providing a way for students to apply their learning beyond the classroom.