Sora, a virtual high school, has closed a $2.7 million seed funding round led by Union Square Ventures.

Sora stated it will use the capital to hire software engineers for learning management system development, a director for its work-study programme, a director of growth marketing, and an asynchronous curriculum designer. The funding will also be used to develop a programme to fit real-world work and internship opportunities into its curriculum, eventually aimed at making Sora free to attend.

Rebecca Kaden, managing partner, Union Square Ventures, said: “Sora is a much-needed new approach to an education system that has been largely stagnant for decades. It offers a personalised system with a scalable network, creating an opportunity to become the largest high school in the world, while also allowing each student to pursue his or her own passions and individual learning journey. Education shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all and Sora is creating something adaptable and effective at a time when parents and students are realising that alternative forms of learning are needed and possible.”

Atlanta-based Sora has drawn interest from various investors, including Village Global, ReThink Education, Firebolt Ventures, Contrary Capital, Sarah K Lee at Peak State Ventures, and angel investor Taylor Greene. 

Village Global co-founder and partner Anne Dwane said: “With Sora, education is finally evolving to meet the needs and high expectations of a new generation of learners. Sora’s unique approach lets the students’ interests guide their learning, ultimately providing a deeper, more enriching high school educational experience.”

Sora co-founder Garrett Smiley added: “Sora’s growth is a testament to the increasing dissatisfaction with traditional schools. Now that kids are learning from home, many parents are discovering just how inefficient and antiquated most schools are. With its mission to create the best high school in the world, Sora puts a different spin on education so that it meets the needs of today’s high-schoolers and prepares them for life after school.”

Date published: 8 October 2020

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