PresenceLearning Raises $8 Million in Series B Funding
Funding will help company grow online speech and occupational therapy services and develop new products for students with special needs
SAN FRANCISCO, April 25, 2013 – PresenceLearning, the leader in online speech and occupational therapy services for K-12 students, recently received $8 million in funding to continue the growth of its online therapy services, as well as to expand development into new products and offerings for the special education market.
The funding for PresenceLearning was led by New Markets Venture Partners and Blue Heron Capital with participation from Birchmere Ventures and returning investors, including Catamount Ventures, Calvert Funds, and Allen & Company.
“The support from our funders is a tremendous validation of how our online speech therapy and online occupational therapy services are helping students with special needs thrive,” said Jack Lynch and Clay Whitehead, co-CEOs of PresenceLearning. “This funding will allow us to grow our already popular and successful services and expand into more areas as we continue our leadership role in the market.”
Since 2009, PresenceLearning’s innovative online therapy has provided schools with web-based access to a nationwide network of highly qualified, fully licensed clinicians who are available whenever and wherever they are needed. By partnering with PresenceLearning, schools improve student outcomes, fill staffing gaps stemming from acute therapist shortages, and reduce high caseloads for overburdened onsite personnel. Students served by PresenceLearning therapists consistently exceed national benchmarks for clinical progress.
Dustine Borges, Chief Psychologist and Director of Special Education at Fowler Unified School District in Fresno County, California, adopted PresenceLearning last year and states, “Our teachers and parents are very happy with the progress the kids are making and the feedback they get about the students. When surrounding districts come to see how we have implemented this service, the joy on the kids’ faces tells the story. It has been amazing—we love it, our kids love it, and our parents love it.”
"As a firm focused on breakthrough education technologies, what really caught our eye about PresenceLearning is their phenomenal ability to improve student outcomes,” said Robb Doub, General Partner at New Markets Venture Partners. “This is a rare company, one with a clear track record of success and an inspiring vision to change the world for the better."
“PresenceLearning is showing that innovation and quality both scale in education,” said Mike Dan, an Operating Advisor at Blue Heron Capital, who will be joining the company’s board. “We are pleased to see such a high quality management team pursuing this large, underserved market.”
PresenceLearning is a fast-growing company that has more than doubled its student base each of the past three years. The company is also announcing that it recently completed its 200,000th live online therapy session.
PresenceLearning (www.presencelearning.com) is the leading provider of live online therapy services for K-12 students. The company offers school districts web-based access to a growing, nationwide network of hundreds of highly qualified speech language pathologists (SLPs), counselors, and occupational therapists (OTs) via live video conferencing combined with the latest in evidence-based practices and powerful progress reporting. Serving students and families throughout the U.S., PresenceLearning has shown that online therapy is engaging and highly effective. PresenceLearning is dedicated to bringing the highest clinical standards to online therapy. The Company has received numerous awards and two grants from the U.S. Department of Education.
About New Markets Venture Partners
New Markets Venture Partners is a venture capital firm that invests in and actively assists innovative education, information technology and business services companies. The New Markets Team has decades of experience investing in and building high growth companies, maintains proprietary relationships with centers of innovation and has particular domain expertise around technology and education. It prides itself on working to add value before, during and after the investment process. Visit newmarketsvp.com for more information.
About Blue Heron Capital
Blue Heron Capital is an innovative alternative investment group focused on growth equity and lower market buyout opportunities. The firm invests in companies where they have deep, relevant experience and can play an active role in the oversight of the business through board representation. Blue Heron utilizes a team of dedicated c-level executives and successful entrepreneurs to help accelerate portfolio company growth. The firm unlocks this value and allows its portfolio management teams to draw on this experience, leadership, insight and network. To learn more, please visit www.blueheroncap.com.
About Catamount Ventures
Catamount Ventures backs world-class entrepreneurs with a plan to change the world through innovation and creativity. Catamount invests across a number of categories with a focus on businesses with a strong authentic mission at their core. For these companies, the pursuit of growth and revenue naturally produces societal benefits. Headquartered in San Francisco CA, Catamount is proving that mission-driven investments provide superior returns. www.catamountventures.com
About Birchmere Ventures
Since 1996 Birchmere Ventures has partnered with entrepreneurs to help build high-growth technology companies. The firm with offices in Palo Alto, CA and Pittsburgh, PA has over $200 million under management and is proud to have funded innovative companies that make a positive impact while also delivering strong returns for our investors. Birchmere's companies have achieved a cumulative market valuation of $14 billion, leading to Preqin's recognition of Birchmere as being among the highest-performing venture groups in the industry for well over a decade. http://www.birchmerevc.com