EdTech startup Edsby raises $5.3 million Series A


Edsby, a Toronto-based EdTech startup that offers a digital learning and data platform for K-12 education, has closed $5.3 million CAD in Series A financing.

The investment was led by education technology executive Chris Besse, with participation from existing investors MindAngler Capital, Byye Management, and XDL Capital Group. Edsby will use the funding to scale sales and marketing, as well as accelerate its global growth.

Edsby was founded by the architects of software company FirstClass.

Following the deal, Besse has joined Edsby as a member of the board and as Edsby’s chief commercial officer. Besse is the former CEO of FreshGrade and EdgeMakers and is also the former managing director of K-12 at Nelson Education.

“The four co-founders of Edsby are delighted to welcome such a successful industry veteran who shares our vision of how modern technology can enhance student learning and achievement,” said CEO of Edsby John Myers. “Edsby stands to benefit tremendously from Chris’ deep experience in the K-12 education sector.”

Edsby was founded in April 2010 by the original founders and architects of the software application FirstClass, a messaging and collaboration product for the higher education and K-12 education sectors. Edsby announced a seed round in 2014, though did not disclose the amount raised.

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Edsby has created a digital learning and analytics platform that includes assessment and reporting features for junior and elementary students. Edsby offers K-12 school districts online social learning tools connected to their existing systems, including grade books, attendance-taking, parent-teacher communication, classroom management, and social classroom interaction.

“The company has had good traction in its native Canada and select regions worldwide. It’s also been architected from day one to be customizable for the wide range of local terminologies, assessment and reporting schemes in K-12 and languages worldwide,” said Besse. “It’s now time to scale sales and marketing and welcome even more customers around the planet into the fold.”

Edsby’s platform has been adopted by school boards across North America. In 2019, the startup rolled out its platform in New Zealand.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Edsby claims it has onboarded more new K-12 school district customers this fall than in any previous year. The startup said these districts’ desire for a centrally-managed learning platform was driven partly by COVID-19.

Image source Unsplash. Photo 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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