Instructure Canvas Raises $8 Million
SALT LAKE CITY, April 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Instructure Canvas™ (www.instructure.com), the new entrant in the education learning management system market (LMS), has closed $8 million in a Series B round of financing led by OpenView Venture Partners, EPIC Ventures, TomorrowVentures, and Tim Draper of Draper Fisher Jurveston.
"We're here for the long haul," said Josh Coates, CEO of Instructure. "Our mission is to relieve teachers and students in all levels of education of antiquated technology. The investment will be used to scale the company's operations and to keep up with market demand."
On February 1st of this year, Instructure announced the availability of Canvas as open source. Since then, thousands of schools districts and universities have begun evaluating Canvas and engaged Instructure in their plans to transition their existing LMS solutions. Today the company is servicing more than 30 educational institutions, the majority of which have switched from Blackboard to Canvas.
"We were compelled by Josh and his team's vision of delivering outstanding user experiences to those in the education market," said Firas Raouf of OpenView Venture Partners. "We received passionately positive feedback from Instructure's customers that was driven primarily by their user experience with Canvas. The LMS market is long overdue for a new learning platform built on the latest Web-based technologies."
"At EPIC, we were searching for a disruptive play to serve the dynamic needs of students in the 21st century," said Nick Efstratis of EPIC Ventures. "Instructure is that company."
Canvas is Instructure's cloud-based learning management system and is built primarily around usability and ease of use. It streamlines standard LMS features like the integrated gradebook, assessment tools, discussions, multiple assignment submission types, rubrics and web chat. Its grading tools, including SpeedGrader™ for the iPad, reduce the amount of time educators spend grading assignments.
Canvas leverages the leading edge of web technologies by embracing features such as drag-and-drop file uploads, HTML5 video and automatic speech-to-text conversion. It also integrates with popular Web 2.0 tools and social media platforms like Google Docs and Facebook.
Instructure (NYSE: INST) is an education technology company dedicated to elevating student success, amplifying the power of teaching, and inspiring everyone to learn together. Today the Instructure Learning Platform supports more than 30 million educators and learners around the world. Learn more at www.instructure.com.