Everspring, a Chicago-based edtech startup that helps universities to get their courses online, has raised a $10 million venture round from Park Loop and existing investors Carrick Capital Partners and Accretive reports Crain’s Chicago Business.
Everspring raised another $10 million earlier this year and currently counts University of Kansas, Kent State University, the College of William and Mary, and Auburn University as its customers.
Founded in 2011 by the former CEO of Kaplan Higher Education Jeff Conlon, Everspring follows the business model of 2U, which was founded in 2008 and had its IPO earlier this year. Both companies invest large sums upfront in the creation and marketing of the online-degree courses and then get a share of the tuition cost.
2U just celebrated its most successful quarter so far with $28.4 million in revenue, 39% more than last year. At a recent talk 2U’s co-founder and CEO Chip Paucek attributed the success of his company to the business model.
“If you are not focusing on the business model, it’s easy to innovate yourself to death. I will not take credit for everything at 2U, but I will take credit for keeping it focused.”
Paucek told the audience.
The Landover-based edtech company now has nearly 800 employees but Everspring is also growing fast. One year ago the startup had 10 employees, 30 in May 2014 and today Everspring has a staff of 50.
Other than MOOC platforms like Coursera, edX, or futurelearn and iversity in Europe that add new courses to their portfolio on a regular basis, 2U and Everspring grow much slower based on their selectiveness in terms of partner universities and degrees. Therefore, it will also take a while until they saturate the market and grow into being direct competitors. For now there seems to be enough room for both companies to grow and an Everspring IPO in 2016 or 2017. If 2U does not acquire its competitor, that is.