Top Hat

HEDLINE: Top Hat raises $10 million Series B

Top Hat which creates a mobile real time feedback platform for educators in higher education raised a $10 million Series B led by Georgian Partners with participation from existing investors Emergence Capital Partners, iNovia Capital, SoftTech VC, Version One Ventures and Golden Venture Partners.

The new round brings the total funding raised to $22.6 million.

Key Takeaway

Founded in Toronto, Canada, in 2009 Top Hat has opened offices in Chicago and San Francisco. The platform is currently used by over 300.000 students at 400 universities.

Top Hat follows the BYOD (bring your own device) approach as the vast majority of university students already own a smartphone. Students pay either $20 per semester or $38 for a five-year-period to get access to the digital curriculum set up by the professor using Top Hat’s platform. Besides charging students, there is also an option to implement Top Hat on the institutional level.This business model helped the startup to be profitable, generating “many millions of dollars in revenue” per year according to Top Hat CEO and co-founder Mike Silagadze on re/code.

Besides having the option to share homework and to measure class participation, educators using Top Hat during their lectures can also receive instant feedback from the students or let them participate in tournaments.

Along with the funding come new versions of the iPad app for professors and iOS and Android apps for students. An Android app for professors is in the making.

Top Hat plans to release an enterprise product for university administrators including features like sentiment polls and an early warning system for students who are at risk to fall behind. There are also plans to expand into the corporate training space but an entrance into the K-12 space is unlikely.


Further Reading

  • Top Hat Raises $10.5 Million for Mobile Teacher Tools | re/code
  • Georgian Partners’ Fund II debuts with lead of Top Hat’s $10 mln Series B | PE Hub

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Kirsten Winkler is the founder and editor of EDUKWEST. She also writes about Social Media, Digital Society and Startups at