Acrobatiq secures $9.75 million in Series A funding; supported by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

personalized-funding-platformAcrobatiq, a provider in the rapidly growing adaptive learning market, announced the successful completion of a $9.75 million Series A round of funding. The funding will support the growth of the Company’s next-generation adaptive learning and analytics platform, as well as sales and marketing initiatives. Acrobatiq’s adaptive courseware and platform have roots in twelve years of research from Carnegie Mellon University’s Open Learning Initiative, using cognitive and learning sciences research to improve student outcomes.

Participants in the round included Draper Triangle Ventures, Hearst Ventures, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. They join existing investor Carnegie Innovations, a subsidiary of Carnegie Mellon.

“Low income and underserved postsecondary students are balancing jobs, families and other priorities, and personalized learning is a tool that empowers these students to complete their degree or credential,” said Jason Palmer, Deputy Director of Postsecondary Success at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We are thrilled to partner with Acrobatiq on expanding adaptive courseware to help these students access higher education and improve their odds of success.”

“Acrobatiq is filling a critical need in higher education that to this point has vexed the nation – the ability to provide truly personalized high-quality education at a cost that makes it accessible to all students who seek it,” said Jay Katarincic, Managing Director, Draper Triangle Ventures. “Acrobatiq brings a unique combination of groundbreaking research in online learning, learner-centered adaptive courseware, and a technology platform that can scale to meet the individual learning needs of millions of students. Our investment is a testament to Acrobatiq’s ability to change the face of higher education in the U.S.”

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Acrobatiq’s approach to optimizing learning is based on research in cognitive science, human-computer interaction and statistical analysis from Carnegie Mellon. Its cloud-based adaptive learning platform and portfolio of adaptive curricula aim to deliver a personalized learning experience for students. Automated tracking and analysis of student performance provides faculty – in real time – with information about which students need help, what they need help with and when they need help, with the goal of improving learning outcomes.

“A lot of activity in higher education has centered on how we can build an online classroom for one million students. We think that’s the wrong problem to solve. We are focused on building a million classrooms, each for one student,” said Eric Frank, Acrobatiq CEO. “We will only actualize the potential of the internet to drive down costs and increase access to education when we can guarantee the quality of the online experience. That’s what we are trying to do in partnership with committed faculty and universities, and this round of funding with such great investment partners will help us do it better and faster.”

Acrobatiq’s personalized, adaptive learning platform and curricula are already used by a number of institutions and faculty across a spectrum of educational delivery models. These partners include community colleges, such as Rio Salado College; competency-based learning programs, such as Western Governors University; and large public non-profit institutions, including Arizona State University and the University System of Georgia.

“Our strategic imperatives revolve around our ability to provide an affordable, high-quality education for all students,” said Myk Garn, Assistant Vice Chancellor for New Learning Models at Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. “As we focus on how to better serve our students, the use of technology and online learning will play a critical role. Our partnership with Acrobatiq will enable us to positively impact the trajectory of our students’ learning outcomes by delivering a more personalized learning experience that meets their specific learning needs and goals.”

East Wind Advisors served as the financial advisor to Acrobatiq in connection with the transaction.

For more information on Acrobatiq’s solutions for higher education, please visit www.acrobatiq.com.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

About the Author:

Meris Stansbury

Meris Stansbury is the Editorial Director for both eSchool News and eCampus News, and was formerly the Managing Editor of eCampus News. Before working at eSchool Media, Meris worked as an assistant editor for The World and I, an online curriculum publication. She graduated from Kenyon College in 2006 with a BA in English, and enjoys spending way too much time either reading or cooking.


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