Amid EdTech boom, Knowledgehook raises $20 million Series A


Kitchener-Waterloo-based Knowledgehook, which has developed an artificial intelligence-based EdTech platform aimed to improve math education in school districts, has raised a $20 million Series A round of financing.

“The pandemic has heightened the need for digital solutions that focus on building teacher capacity to deliver high-quality math instruction.”
– Travis Ratnam

The lead investor in the round was not disclosed. However, Knowledgehook said in a statement the lead was a London-based EdTech investment fund. Other participants in the Series A round included Mesoamerica’s Alexandria Corp., Nelson Education, Ideal Ventures, and Nicoya Ventures.

The investment comes at a time of high activity in the EdTech sector, as many technology startups are looking to gain prominence in a hybrid era of remote and in-person learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Now more than ever, we know that teachers and parents both play an essential role in helping children learn,” said Knowledgehook CEO and co-founder Travis Ratnam. “The pandemic has heightened the need for digital solutions that focus on building teacher capacity to deliver high-quality math instruction both in classrooms and in remote learning environments. Knowledgehook, designed to empower educators, is this next generation of EdTech.”

Knowledgehook’s technology uses data to track where each student is in the progress of learning math. The program provides real-time insights on student learning gaps and helps teachers develop their understanding of the math concepts related to their students’ challenges, aiming to allow teachers to adjust instruction and monitor progress.

Through Knowledgehook’s platform, teachers have access to content aligned to their jurisdiction’s curriculum (including US Common Core, Texas, UK, Mexico, and Ontario) in English, French and Spanish. In 2016, KnowledgeHook raised a $1.25 million seed round of financing.

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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues in North America, education systems have been presented with a new set of challenges this school season. The demand for EdTech solutions has also risen sharply amid the pandemic.

Top Hat, for example, recently announced it would acquire the Canadian domestic higher education textbook businesses of Nelson Education, one of the country’s largest education publishers. Nelson notably invested in KnowledgeHook’s Series A round. Other startups, like ApplyBoard, Showbie, and Edsby have all raised financing rounds during the pandemic.

Despite growth in the sector, some watchdogs are noting the need to ensure privacy protection is paramount as tech adoption rises. Canada’s privacy commissioner’s recently-published annual report warning that e-learning and educational technology platforms can capture sensitive information about students’ learning disabilities and other behavioural issues.

Knowledgehook collaborates with ministries and departments of education while also working directly with school districts, to offer curriculum-aligned solutions. The company’s current pool of educators spans more than 100,000 schools. By 2021, the startup aims to extend its solution’s reach to 50,000,000 students globally.

Image source Unsplash. Photo by Thomas Park.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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