Remind101, a startup that offers a free and secure text messaging platform for teachers, students and parents raised a $15 million Series B round led by Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers with participation from previous investors including Social+Capital and First Round Capital.
This investment follows a $1 million seed-round in 2011 and an additional $3.5 million Series A in 2013, bringing Remind101’s total funding raised to $19.5 million. As part of this round Kleiner Perkins partner John Doerr is going to join Remind101’s board of directors.
Since its creation in 2011 Remind101 has seen some rapid adoption among US teachers and claims that 15 % of all K12 teachers in the US are now using Remind101.
Remind101’s premise of an existing communication gap between teachers, students and parents seems to be dead on and satisfies the teachers’ need for a secure mobile communication platform.
The release of their mobile apps has further fueled growth.
One could say that Remind101 is somewhat the poster child for imagineK12 and their mantra to worry about a business model later as long as a startup manages to get in the hands of as many teachers, students and parents as possible in a relatively short time.
The same seems to be true for Doerr as he told EdSurge the lack of a business model
“didn’t deter us. As long as they have some ideas and belief about how to make the company sustainable.”
Doerr also points out that studies show that communication between parents, teachers and students results in better learning outcomes.
The new round will elongate Remind101’s runway as we must not forget that at the moment the startup is essentially burning through its venture money. As the service is free to use, the cost of text messages and the hosting of the platform is entirely paid from the funding.
Other competitors in the space that launched around the same time are already out of the game as they were not successful in attracting venture capital or finding a viable business model.
John Doerr expects the founding team to either come up with a business model based on upsells like premium features for teachers and schools or an other liquidity event, aka an IPO.
We initially featured Remind101 as part of imagineK12’s first cohort and interviewed co-founder and CEO Brett Kopf shortly after they had left the incubator.