SchooLinks, a career and college planning company, has raised $8.3 million in Series A funding in a round led by LiveOak Venture Partners, with participation from SJF Ventures and Juvo Ventures. 

The company provides a platform for students preparing to go to college. It also provides a career interest and preparedness platform “inclusive of those who are traditionally underserved”. By law school districts must track various metrics, engaging students and their families, thereby “levelling the playing field for the entire population”.

Austin, Texas-based SchooLinks was founded in 2015. The company stated that the capital raised will be used for team expansion, product development and integrations, and building out new partnerships for future growth.

SchooLinks’ chief executive Katie Fang said: “Changing legislation at state level and evolving market conditions are putting a spotlight on the school districts’ ability to set their students up for success in the job market regardless of whether they attend a four-year college or not.”

Krishna Srinivasan, founding partner at LiveOak Venture Partners, is joining SchooLinks’ board of directors. He said: “At LiveOak we look to invest in visionary entrepreneurs that are leading companies to become category leaders by building and deploying magical software and solutions. We have known Katie for many years and have been incredibly impressed with her leadership, drive, and hustle in leading SchooLinks. Within a short period of time, the company has managed to demonstrate growth and customer success in the same league as best-in-class enterprise software companies, which is a testament to the powerful impact they are having on students and schools across the country.  We are excited to partner with the company through the next phase of growth.”

Arrun Kapoor, managing Director of SJF Ventures, added: “Workforce development is a huge priority for the country, and ensuring students are properly prepared for college and careers when they graduate is a key element of that equation. As evident with federal and state mandates, this preparation cannot start at the collegiate level and includes many factors that current solutions in the market are dramatically ill-equipped to solve. At SJF, workforce development has been a focus since our founding 22 years ago, and from our extensive survey of this category, we developed the conviction that SchooLinks has the potential to revolutionise how talent and skills are being prepared in K12. We’re excited to back SchooLinks and its founder to bring the most innovative college and career readiness solution to K12 and modernise the space.”

LiveOak’s Mason Rathe is joining SchooLinks as vice-president finance and operations. He said: “As an investor, I spend my days with hundreds of founders a year, and rarely am I this energised by a CEO. I have such strong conviction in the team and market opportunity that I decided to leave my career as a venture capitalist to join the leadership team here.”

Date published: 17 March 2021

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