Graduway is a startup that is aiming to help colleges and universities engage with their alumni. Graduway is raising $1.1 million in seed funding from BTG Pactual, Gigi Levy (former 888 Holdings CEO), and RSL Venture Partners. Graduway works with 14 countries in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
Graduway founder Daniel Cohen admitted that powering all of the world’s alumni networks is an ambitious goal and the company has a long way to go. Some of their competition includes Harris Connect, Alumni Magnet, iModules, and Easyalumni.
?Time and time again we?ve found that schools have literally lost contact with the majority of their alumni, which, ironically, is their most valuable asset,? stated Cohen. ?If you look at the user statistics for their platforms, typically, all you?ll hear is the sound of deafening silence ? of a dead network.?
Cohen said that branded platforms lead to higher engagement levels versus non-branded platforms. Many schools engage with their alumni by using e-mail news blasts or snail mail. Some alumni create books through LinkedIn and Facebook. Cohen said that a typical alumni group on these social networks may have 10,000 members, but only 2-3 people discuss or make comments each week.
Graduway wants to help schools solve the problem by giving institutions their own branded alumni networking platform built around existing social networks. Graduway lets schools set up a basic platform in a few minutes and adds features as they go. Through the school’s official alumni website, the platform also encourages recent graduates to join LinkedIn if they have not already. Graduway is working with about 40 schools and will be using the new capital to grow their institution partnerships.