ClassDojo, a school communication platform that connects teachers with students and parents to build close-knit communities, has raised $125 million in a Series D funding round led by Tencent, to help kids play, learn and flourish beyond the classroom.
The capital has been raised in September last year, but ClassDojo announced it only recently. The funding round made the San Francisco-based company an unannounced unicorn at a $1.25 billion valuation.
Founded by Liam Don and Sam Chaudhary in 2011, ClassDojo’s school communication application is designed to revolutionize education by building a classroom community. It enables teachers to create a positive culture in school by encouraging students for any skill or value, helps students to showcase and share their learning by adding photos and videos to their own portfolios, and gets parents engaged by sharing photos and videos of classroom moments. The company claims 95% of US schools use its platform to engage kids and connect with families.
ClassDojo believes that kids have always learned together in physical spaces and, in coming years, they will start learning in virtual spaces, too. With a global community of over 50 million teachers and families on its platform, the company is now building a virtual space for the whole community where the world’s best learning experiences will be available to everyone regardless of zip code or income; where teachers and families can connect, communicate, and share learning experiences; and where kids can come together to play, learn, and grow beyond the classroom.
Unlike other offerings, ClassDojo’s virtual world is intended to be a closed, safe environment in which kids can build and hang out after school – all while participating in activities intended to build valuable soft skills like creativity, collaboration, and sportsmanship. “We don’t want to turn it into an edutainment thing where we do math games with robots. That’s been done a million times. We want to expand the creative toolset that kids have,” Forbes quoted Liam Don as saying.
After testing with tens of thousands of students since last year, ClassDojo is now unveiling its big new act for the upcoming school year, with the goal of making the company’s virtual space available to at least half of the 51 million kids in active ClassDojo classrooms starting in August.
ClassDojo has previously raised funding from venture capital firms including SV Angel, Shasta Ventures, and General Catalyst. Earlier this year, the company acquired Prendea, a Y Combinator alumni company focused on Latin America, for an undisclosed amount.