Sherbrooke, Que.-based Classcraft, which uses video games to help kindergarten to grade 12 students be more engaged at school, has closed a $10 million Series A.
The round was led by Investissement Quebec. Classcraft’s existing investors, including Whitecap Venture Partners, Brightspark Ventures, and MaRS Catalyst Fund, also participated in the round.
Classcraft said it plans to use the funding to scale on its past success; in 2019, the company surpassed 6 million users by pursuing partnerships with schools and districts on more large-scale implementations of its product.
“At Classcraft, our aspirations go beyond student engagement.”
– Shawn Young, CEO and co-Founder of Classcraft
“At Classcraft, our aspirations go beyond student engagement,” said Shawn Young, CEO and co-founder of Classcraft. “We’re aiming to foster the type of intrinsic motivation that makes students care about succeeding in school. We’ve made an incredible impact working with educators to improve outcomes like social emotional learning, academic performance, and school climate. This investment allows us to scale these efforts while developing new ways of leveraging games, technology, and experiences to create cultures of engagement.”
“Investissement Québec is proud to play a role in consolidating Classcraft’s position in Québec and abroad, helping to ensure its continued growth and a bright future,” said Guy LeBlanc, Investissement Québec president and CEO. “With this initiative, we are supporting a major player in the field, one able to offer tangible solutions to address the biggest education challenges our society is facing. We’re excited to see what educators and students can achieve with what Classcraft has built. And when these breakthroughs are happening in your own backyard, being able to support them means so much more.”
Founded in 2013, Classcraft is used in more than 160 countries and is available in 11 languages. The company uses games like Boss Battles, which allow teachers to turn formative assessments into a game where the whole class works together on a collaborative monster battle. In real time through the Classcraft platform, teachers can learn more about how engaged students are and what works.
The company also recently released Story Mode, which uses plug-and-play adventures in episodes to promote social learning. Jean Guesdon, creative director of Ubisoft, advised Classcraft on the development of Story Mode.
In September 2017, Classcraft raised $2.8 million. In April 2019, the company announced a partnership with Thierry Karsenti, University of Montreal professor and Canada Research Chair on information and communication technologies, to study the impact of AI-driven learning experiences on students’ learning. The initiative aims to outline best practices for the responsible application of AI in learning settings, including equity and student privacy.
Classcraft also recently announced its first-ever chief revenue officer, Michele Shively, who most recently served as vice president of sales at Nearpod.
“AI has the potential to positively impact students’ academic motivation and even increase their success in school but only if it’s used to facilitate what matters most in any classroom, strong, human connections between students and teachers,” said Karsenti. “The research we’re conducting with Classcraft has the potential to highlight how we can promote engagement, connectedness, and belonging among today’s students.”