Class Technologies raises $105m round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2

REUTERS/Issei Kato

Class Technologies Inc, which makes tools for Zoom Video Communications Inc’s platform to enhance online classes, said on Wednesday it raised $105 million in a funding round led by SoftBank Group Corp’s Vision Fund 2.

The ed-tech start up was born during the pandemic as co-founder and CEO Michael Chasen saw the challenges of Zoom classes from his three children in public school. Chasen started his first education software business over 20 years ago called Blackboard, Inc. so was able to quickly get the company started with previous engineers he partnered with and big name investors.

“I think what you can expect to see over the next 12 to 18 months there is going to be more advancement in ed-tech than we’ve seen in the last five to 10 years,” said Chasen.

He added that even with public schools returning to in-person learning, many will still choose to keep using technology in some way to avoid being “caught flat-footed again if there’s another pandemic”.

Startups serving public schools have traditionally struggled to get big funding from venture capital, which sees the long sales cycle in the sector as a challenge. But the pandemic has started to change that. Chasen, who has worked extensively with public schools in his previous company, said public schools are a strong long-term opportunity, but said in the shorter-term there were big growth opportunities from corporate customers using the Class Technologies tools for employee training as well as demand from higher education.

Chasen declined to share the company’s latest valuation.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.