Nashville-Based Education Startup Possip Raises $1 Million

By Annie Baker ● December 20, 2019
  • Possip, a Nashville-based company that provides real-time education feedback from parents to schools, announced it raised slightly more than $1 million

Possip, a Nashville-based company that provides real-time education feedback from parents to schools, announced it raised a round of funding at slightly more than $1 million.

“We are using the funding to expand our work to new areas,” said Possip founder and CEO Shani Dowell via Hypepotamus. “Our aim is to grow to at least 200 new school partners and over 100,000 parent users. We also want to provide additional insights and perspectives to schools and districts based on what they are hearing from and learning from parents.”

With this round of funding, Dowell made history as the first African-American woman in Tennessee (and one of fewer than 60 black women in the U.S.) to raise over $1 million in venture funding.

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The word Possip is a portmanteau of the words “gossip” and “positive.” And the company uses text messages and weekly emails to parents as a way to gather thoughts, feedback, and ideas.

This platform captures and uses data analytics, data intelligence, and historical insights to organize parental feedback into actionable reports arranged in 5 areas, including academics, staff operations, teachers, classroom culture, and school culture.

Less than 3% of all venture funding goes towards women-led business. And 0.006% goes to African-American women entrepreneurs. Despite those odds, Dowell said that the support from her fellow founders inspired her to keep going.

“Black female founders in other states were part of my encouragement to reach this milestone,” added Dowell in the interview with Hypepotamus. “After raising over $800,000, other black female entrepreneurs encouraged me to keep pushing towards the larger raise. So, I was already inspired by other founders across the South and East Coast to continue pushing. Part of that was a responsibility to show that black women have great business ideas and can raise money as well.”

This round of funding will help Possip grow its school and district partnerships, deepen customer experience, and provide customers additional analytics and features. And the funding was served through convertible notes and grants. The round included investments from the Launch TN Impact Fund and angel investors committed to high-impact companies.

“Shani’s success as the first black woman in Tennessee to reach the $1 million investment mark is an important milestone, and we’re confident that it is only the first of many as the company grows to serve more schools and students,” stated Launch Tennessee president and CEO Margaret Dolan, CPA, MBA.

Ever since Possip was founded, the company has grown to serve over 50,000 users at nearly 100 schools at the country. And schools that use Possip have seen a tenfold increase in the number of families offering feedback.