Lea(R)n Closes $800K Seed Round

Latest funding expands reach of LearnTrials, the company’s award-winning edtech discovery and management platform.

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RALEIGH, N.C. (July 30, 2015) — Lea(R)n, creator of the award-winning online resource for educators, LearnTrials, today announced the firm has closed a seed round of funding of more than $800,000 from education technology investors across the United States.

The growing North Carolina-based company equips educators and their organizations to know which learning technologies are best for their classrooms. Lea(R)n’s research-backed, online platform lets teachers discover, share experiences and ask questions on virtually any technology product on the education market today. The platform also equips districts and states to save money, improve processes and measure the impact of their technology initiatives.

“Every year schools and districts spend millions on products that don’t move the needle for students,” said Brad Kessler, former head of procurement for Chicago Public Schools and adviser to Lea(R)n. “Lea(R)n is the right team and the right solution to solve this massive problem.”

This seed round was led by Edovate Capital in Colorado along with a notable combination of strategic corporate investments from AT&T, Kaplan, and Techstars. Joining the round were edtech angel investors Gregg Burt, of California, as well as Walt Winshall and Jean Hammond of Boston, Mass. It also included funding through the NC-based Inception Micro Angel Fund of the Research Triangle Park (IMAF-RTP) and others.

“The technology works, the team is smart, and the rapid early traction speaks for itself,” said Graham Forman, education technology veteran and managing director of Edovate Capital. “This was the right move for us to invest in Lea(R)n to help accelerate the positive impact for teachers and their school districts.”

Lea(R)n is working with public and private schools, districts and networks to improve efficiency and technology decisions, including a recently announced partnership with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction to harness the expertise of the state’s 98,000 teachers to make decisions about what technologies work well in their classrooms. In addition to the State of North Carolina, Lea(R)n now has thousands of educator users and documented successes from the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, Harrington Park, N.J., FirstLine Charter Schools in New Orleans, and more.

In 2014, after splitting $270,000 in the spring NC IDEA competition, Lea(R)n officially launched during the Kaplan Techstars Accelerator in New York City. The company quickly became the 2014 Company of the Year in Education by the North Carolina Technology Association, and has been honored by SXSWedu and the AT&T Aspire Accelerator in international competitions.

About Lea(R)n

Lea(R)n is a North Carolina-based education technology firm that equips educators and their organizations to know and manage which technology is best for their classrooms. Designed by and for educators, the award-winning LearnTrials platform helps educators gain insights into and across America’s schools when they pilot, buy and use education technology.