Classcraft, a Montreal based EdTech company, has raised $2.8 million in funding led by Whitecap Venture Partners. Other investors include Brightspark Ventures, MaRS Catalyst Fund, Richard Branson’s Virgin Unite, and existing investors. Joe Catalfamo, Partner at Whitecap Ventures, has joined Classcraft board of directors.
Designed to turn the experience of going to school into a role-playing game played over the course of a school year, Classcraft enhances classroom management, augments existing curriculum, and gamifies practices for Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) for teachers and administrators.
“We share the excitement of millions of teachers and students around the world who love Classcraft,” said Catalfamo. “This platform has already seen early success, and we are proud to help the team to grow its business so the impact of the platform can transform as many classrooms as possible.:
“Introducing a role-playing game with real-world risks and rewards revolutionized my classroom,” said Shawn Young, Classcraft co-founder and CEO. “Students were more engaged, they worked harder and were more thoughtful in making decisions in and out of the classroom. Not only were they excelling academically, they were stepping up to help their fellow students as well.”
Shawn then officially founded Classcraft in 2013 with his brother Devin, a veteran experience designer and creative director in New York City, to further build out the platform, and with his father, Lauren, an experienced business executive.
Today, Classcraft is used in 75 countries, including over 20,000 schools in the U.S., with more than 2.5 million student users around the world. The platform is backed by scientific research, including a study that revealed that classrooms using Classcraft saw an increase in student achievement of more than 8 percent over the course of a school year.
“Our mission with Classcraft is to reimagine the classroom with collaborative play at the center of the experience,” said Devin Young, Classcraft co-founder and President. “We’re extremely proud of the impact this approach has had with students, particularly around Social Emotional Learning. With this round of funding, our focus now is to build an even richer gaming ecosystem through partnerships and self-paced, personalized learning. We’re very excited about what’s to come!”
The company is lauded as an innovator in the education market, with the National School Boards Association naming Classcraft a Technology Innovation Showcase winner in 2015, the same year Common Sense Education named the platform a Top Pick. EdTech Digest also named Classcraft a Cool Tool winner in the Academic Gaming Solution category in 2016 and 2017. Classcraft is a certified Google Cloud Technology Partner and is fully integrated with Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams.
“With districts and states putting greater emphasis on Social and Emotional Learning, Classcraft becomes even more needed,” said Jennie Magiera, chief program officer at EdTechTeam and former chief innovation officer at School District 62 in Des Plaines, Illinois. “Students are making better decisions in and out of class, supporting their peers and taking more pride in their work, because Classcraft creates a classroom culture and environment that empowers each student and gives them agency to become better versions of themselves.”
photo credit: Classcraft