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Kangarootime, Which Offers an Early Childhood Education Platform, Raises $3.5 Million Series A

By Henry Kronk
October 30, 2019

Kangarootime, a Buffalo, N.Y.-based provider of early childhood education support software, announced on October 30 that it had raised $3.5 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Cultivation Capital, a St. Louis-based VC firm.

Kangarootime was founded by Scott Wayman in 2015. He was inspired to launch the company after his parents unexpectedly passed away before their time and he was left to adopt and raise his youngest brother. During that process, he became acquainted with early childhood education and saw an opportunity. 

Kangarootime has wide-ranging capabilities. It allows parents to do things like message with their kid’s teachers and care providers, receive emergency updates, and stay informed about their kids’ daily activities. 

Kangarootime’s Platform Serves Parents, Teachers, and Centers

It also has numerous teacher- and center-facing features, like automated billing, the ability to track who is allowed to pick up which kid (and when they do it), and the ability to track teacher-student ratios in classrooms. 

The app also tracks a comprehensive set of data and provides reporting dashboards for both administrators and parents. 

“We built Kangarootime to help schools serve families, never knowing that there was so much valuable data to help our customers build bodies, minds and souls,” Wayman said in a statement. “Our next chapter is about helping our customers become data-driven and use actionable intelligence to become better educators.”

 Including the latest funding round, Kangarootime has raised $5.4 million to date, according to Crunchbase. Other investors include 43North, Tech Coast Angels, Mucker Capital, and Skyview Ventures. 

With their Series A, Kangarootime plans to launch new enterprise and education products in 2020. The company also plans to scale business operations and hire staff. As part of the deal, Cultivation Capital’s Heather Wood will join Kangarootime’s board. 

“Cultivation is thrilled to add Scott and the Kangarootime team to our portfolio. With Scott’s proven success and passion for solving the problems of early childhood centers, we know that Kangarootime will be able to serve the specific needs to centers everywhere,” says Heather Wood, Kangarootime Board Member and General Partner at Cultivation Capital, in a statement.

Digital platforms serving early childhood administration, communications, and more are fewer and further between in the early childhood sector compared to older age groups. 

A Few Initiatives Have Sought to Bring Data and Analytics to Early Childhood Education

But that is not to say that these products and services are not needed. 

In 2016, experts from the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services collaborated on a report titled “The Integration of Early Childhood Data.” The document describes both the possibilities and challenges of collecting and using early childhood data. 

As the authors write, “Despite many important federal, state, and local investments in early care, education, and public health, many young children do not receive the support they need to be adequately prepared for school. In fact, achievement and development gaps can be detected in children as early as nine months of age, and these early health and educational disparities often persist throughout a person’s lifespan. Early investments in health, family support, and high-quality early learning opportunities have been shown to provide both short- and long-term positive impacts on children’s future outcomes that can provide long-term benefits to society.”

While Kangarootime’s capabilities do not directly address each of these issues, data and analytics and other digital capacities have the potential to do so. 

Featured Image: Gautam Aora, Unsplash.

20 Comments

  1. One of the interesting aspects of Canvas is how much they spend on sales and marketing. It’s several magnitudes of dollars spent for each dollar they earn. For the company to be viable they are going to have to start raising prices (to increase margin) and institutions will be on the receiving end of that.

    • Hi David,

      The huge hole we left in the piece is the relative cost offered by Blackboard vs. Canvas. We weren’t able to get a good picture of this because every institution or company needs a unique system, and we could never stack it up apples to apples.

      Do you have experience implementing either LMS? We would love to do a follow up piece on Canvas’ business model/why they’re getting so much new business.

  2. I’ve used Canvas, Moodle, Whipple Hill, Finalsite, a home-grown solution, Google Classroom, and Haiku (now knows as PowerSchool Learning). I have to say that I am most impressed with the capability and integration Haiku has to offer. Second, I like Moodle’s configurability. Google is ultra-simplistic which some people like but it really doesn’t suit my needs. I found Canvas counter-intuitive but perhaps my intuition is just miscalibrated because it’s so popular and in fairness, I’ve never used Blackboard. Anyhow, I’d suggest that if you are a PowerSchool school, try PSL/Haiku. It’s pretty impressive with its features, gradebook integration, Turnitin integration, email contact and so forth. Anyhow, learn to code: brainstemschool.com .

    Happy teaching!

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