Live Online Education Experience Company Outschool Raises $45 Million 

By Dan Anderson ● September 19, 2020
  • Outschool recently announced it raised $45 million in additional funding to be used to accelerate hiring and product development for its K-12 education marketplace

Outschool recently announced it raised $45 million in additional funding to be used to accelerate hiring and product development for its K-12 education marketplace. This Series B round of funding was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners with participation from Reach Capital, Union Square Ventures, SV Angel, FundersClub, Y Combinator, and several others. And this latest round of funding comes on the heels of unprecedented company growth since March 2020. 

 Outschool is an online marketplace of live and interactive classes that connect teachers and learners over real-time video in a small-group setting. And Outschool’s offerings are created by independent teachers and include a wide variety of enrichment classes like cooking, piano, and language lessons as well as academic classes such as grammar bootcamps and geometry.

The company’s classes are designed with a learner’s passions in mind and are fun, engaging and diverse with classes like: surviving a Zombie Apocalypse During the American Colonial Period, Ready, Set, Bake: Tasty Cupcakes, STEM Design: Build a Satellite, Grammar Detectives in the Rainforest, Bring Your Chickens to Class, and A Taste of Fashion Design.

Outschool’s mission is to inspire kids to love learning by making education fun, social, and self-directed. And topics offered through its marketplace connect learning to kids’ interests while offering real and human connections. And with over 50,000 choices designed to help learners supplement their schooling, Outschool is a unique offering for parents wanting engaging learning activities for their kids at home, during the day or after school.

Classes on Outschool are ranging from one-time enrichment lessons to semester-long core courses. And classes are offered across all subjects, and for learners range from age 3 to 18.

The company has seen over 2,000% increase in bookings from August 2019 to August 2020. And since March of 2020, the company rapidly ramped up its ability to provide supplemental education during the pandemic for hundreds of thousands of additional learners, hired more than 5K teachers, and launched Outschool in the UK, New Zealand and Australia. The Covid-19 crisis initially drove increased demand and parents have continued to use the platform for their children supplementally even as more schools have gone back to in-person teaching. 

And with this new investment the Outschool team will be working to grow partnerships, work directly with schools, and learning centers, as well as companies who want to add Outschool classes as a benefit. This past month alone, Outschool has launched semester long classes Outschool Planner which helps busy parents enroll their children in classes and Outschool.org for districts and families with a financial need and private groups for pod learning. Outschool also provided $3 million in grants for Outschool.org. 

KEY QUOTES:

“We see Outschool as becoming a fixture of learning in the future as schools adopt a more hybrid approach to education post-pandemic. Budget constraints will make enrichment even less of a priority for districts; however it won’t become less important to parents.”

“Post Covid-19, schools will have more experience with and investment in online tools which will allow them to expand their own capabilities to offer cost-effective enrichment online. After parents have already realized that less expensive options exist for supplemental education and camps it will be hard to make the adjustment back and leave behind something that they knew worked so well when they needed it most.”

— Amir Nathoo, Co-founder and CEO of Outschool 

“What we love most about Outschool is that it offers unique classes that specifically speak to a child’s individual passions. When the pandemic closed schools around the world last spring, it was so important to have a platform like Outschool to inspire kids to continue their natural love of learning.” 

— Jennifer Carolan, Reach Capital Partner

“The pandemic has rapidly advanced the need for technology in education, and Outschool has uniquely met the moment by providing an essential platform for parents, kids, and teachers when they need it most. We’re delighted to partner with the Outschool team and help scale its marketplace for live, online learning globally.” 

— Alex Taussig, Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners