Better Ventures

Better Ventures is a venture capital firm that provides funding and support to companies creating scalable solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges.

UClass Acquired by Renaissance Learning

We are excited to announce that Better Ventures Fund I company UClass has been acquired by Renaissance Learning, a K-12 assessment and learning analytics company, which has a valuation of over $1 billion. The deal was officially announced last Thursday and covered by several media outlets including TechCruch. This is a big win for the UClass team, as they'll be joining forces with a formidable edtech industry giant that is backed by Hellman & Friedman and Google Capital and whose services are used by a third of UhS schools. The combined platform will now enable teachers to assess how students are doing and then quickly match them to resources in the UClass library, where content is tagged for compliance with Common Core standards. Currently UClass is used by hundreds of thousands of teachers and students in more than 5,000 schools with over 16 million pieces of learning content.

We had a good feeling about Zak when we were evaluating UClass for investment in early 2013. We like to test the tenacity and creative thinking of our entrepreneurs prior to investing, and we knew we had an animal on our hands with Zak when he was thoughtfully responding to our emails at 2am. Our early investment in the company helped catalyze the team, with Zak and Chris Yim packing up their belongings to move from New York to California, and Varun Gulati resigning from his post at Google to join UClass as CTO. All four co-founders, including Leah Schrader, are former teachers and well aware of the challenges faced in the classroom, and with our guidance they embarked upon building a "painkiller" solution that saves teachers countless hours of prep time so they can focus on what they do best. We are very proud of the tremendous progress the team has made in just two short years, and we're excited to watch the UClass platform scale with this new backing from Renaissance.  

This deal is also a big win for our first fund, and it validates our approach to investing at the intersection of technology and impact. We aim to outperform the market by backing entrepreneurs who are passionate about using technology to solve the world's biggest challenges, and with this deal and others in our portfolio, we are achieving just that - making money and doing good! 

 

 

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