A Concentric Educational Solutions executive said that this raise will support its “planned growth and transition to more of a blend between services and technology.”
HQed on Light Street in Baltimore’s Federal Hill neighborhood, Concentric Educational Solutions (CES) recently landed a major raise to support its tech-enabled education support work.
This week, the edtech company, founded by native Delawarean and CEO Dr. David Heiber, announced that it scored $5 million in Series A funding from Fulton, Maryland-based VC New Markets Venture Partners. In a challenging market where VC dollars to Black startup founders fell more than 50% last year, that’s no small feat.
The annual total of venture capital investments in edtech companies rose from $5.4 billion to $16.8 billion between 2019 and 2021 before tailing off.
According to an announcement, CES will use this round to hire, promote growth and further develop both its services and philanthropic base. All these changes, the company said, will support its work to boost student outcomes both at home and in school.
“We’ve witnessed transformative changes in the lives of students, teachers, and superintendents who have entrusted us as their partner in enhancing student engagement,” said Heiber in the announcement.
Since the inception of CES, Heiber and his team — which, according to the Baltimore Business Journal, has grown from 20 staff members in 2020 to 147 this year — have partnered with over 300 schools in 20 states, including Baltimore City Public Schools and Anne Arundel County Public Schools in Maryland.
“Concentric Educational Solutions firmly believes in the potential for every student to succeed,” said Dr. Daryl Kennedy, the regional assistant superintendent for Anne Arundel County Public Schools, in the release. “Their comprehensive framework, which centers around the students themselves, has had an immeasurable impact on both our students and their families. The emphasis on home visits and a deep understanding of each student’s background establishes a support network, addressing both their well-being and academic needs.”
CES Chief Revenue Officer Alvin Crawford told Technical.ly via email that CES aims to use tools like professional student advocates, home visits, mentoring, tutoring and home visits.
“The goals of the home visits are to prevent or reduce chronic absenteeism, identify barriers that impact a student’s ability and willingness to fully engage in school, and increase parent or family engagement and involvement,” Crawford said.
He also said that the financing helps the company scale its work while also employing technology to promote efficiency.
“The first step was to strengthen the leadership team,” he said. “Our depth in sales, product development, operations and finance lays the foundation for us to do the things that we aspired to pre-financing. This approach positions us to scale our solutions more deeply and add additional value by using technology to create efficiency for our processes to better serve our customers.”
Crawford noted that the company’s offerings had primarily been “services-based.” But clients have expressed interest in CES’ technology, he said.
“Our current use of technology has been to support our people in the field, but we’re finding more districts that are interested in our technology infrastructure to support their internal processes,” he said. “This approach will extend our reach and will likely open up new consulting and services opportunities for districts that have gaps in staffing once we’ve implemented the technology.”
“Our planned growth and transition to more of a blend between services and technology will be important to help fuel our philanthropy,” he added.
Read original story here: