Instructure reached $50 million in funding.
Instructure, developer of the popular learning management system Canvas, announced Wednesday that it raised $30 million in what may be the company’s last round of funding before going public.
San Francisco area venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners led the round, bringing Instructure’s total funding to $50 million.
Misty Frost, vice president of marketing at Instructure, said that the funds will be used to continue the growth of colleges, universities and school districts adopting Canvas as well as improving and increasing Instructure’s presence in the world of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), an arena the company only entered last November.
“We want to continue to invest in innovation,” Frost said. “When we look at this competitive landscape, we believe we’ve been so successful because we introduced the first cloud based LMS. What Canvas offers is innovative, but we want to stay ahead of that curve.”
A large part of that goal is wrapped up in the company’s initial public offering (IPO). Though going public may still be a few years down the line, the company is keeping an eye on the market, Frost said, looking for the right time.
See Page 2 for what baby steps the company is taking toward its IPO.
With its final round of investment being led by Bessemer, Instructure has already taken a first step toward its IPO. More than 100 Bessemer companies have gone public, including Yelp and LinkedIn.
In another move signaling the company’s eventual public offering, Instructure has appointed Bessemer partner Byron Deeter to its board of directors. Deeter is a former cloud computing founder and CEO who oversaw the IPOs of software companies Eloqua and Cornerstone OnDemand.
“We feel very strongly about what value we bring to the market,” Frost said. “We feel like technology should get out of the way of education. Teachers and learners should be able to connect through technology but not be hampered by it. To do this, we need to remain independent so that’s why there is this drive to go public.”