BookNook Closes $2M Seed Round


We’re thrilled to announce our investment in BookNook, an Oakland, CA-based edtech startup tackling the early learning crisis with small-group learning. We co-led BookNook’s $2M seed round with the Urban Innovation Fund. BookNook has made significant progress since we invested in their pre-seed round over one and half years ago; from 10 schools to over 100, approaching $1M in ARR, and impressive impact metrics, we view BookNook as becoming the de facto platform for small group learning in schools across the country.

Only 36% of US 4th graders read proficiently and among low-income children and children of color, just 20% read at grade level. It’s a rate that has barely moved over the past 20 years. CEO and Founder Michael Lombardo built a $30M/year national nonprofit that tried to solve this problem with volunteers, and realized that technology was the path to scale. With the average BookNook student one full grade level below the school-assessed benchmark when they started using the app, 71% of students ended the school year closer to grade level than when they started, while 44% caught up completely. We’re excited to back Michael, CTO Kevin Rohling, and the BookNook team on their journey to support the next generation of strong, confident, and lifelong readers.