Early-stage edtech startup Edmit closed an $855,000 pre-seed round with participation from Bessemer Venture Partner’s 15 Angels fund, Rethink Education’s seed fund in partnership with Southern New Hampshire University, and Boston and non-Boston investors including Rob Biederman, founder and co-CEO of Catalant.
Other investors who took part in the round are Bill Triant, vice president at Pearson; Wan Li Zhu, partner at Fairhaven Capital; Peter Temes, a dean at Northeastern University; Anthony Accardi, CTO of Rue La La; and Shereen Shermak, an advisor at Flybridge Capital Partners.
“We help the student and family acting as a broker on their behalf.”
The company is developing an online platform – currently in a private beta – to help high school seniors get the best financial deal when it comes to going to college as undergrads. In an email to BostInno, co-founder Nick Ducoff said they’re using the funding to expand their service coverage to every four-year college in the U.S. and accelerating the release of their public beta later this year.
“We help the student and family acting as a broker on their behalf,” Ducoff said in a recent interview.
Usually, students use Edmit with a particular school in mind, as it’s a tool that may be helpful for students who are finalizing their college admission process. The platform provides the student with a personalized estimate of the deal the student is going to get, by taking into account three areas: the student’s financial need, his or her merit and the financial non-need-based aid the school is most likely to offer to persuade the student to enroll. Edmit connects the student with the decision-makers and provides emails justifying the request for more financial aid, when possible.
“The consumer has considerably more buyer power than they really recognize.”
“Universities, even amazing universities… need every single student that they can get. And so, the consumer has considerably more buyer power than they really recognize,” Ducoff said.
The data Edmit bases its estimates on are mostly public data, as well as data collected over time from students’ use of the platform. Edmit is free to use for students, and the company plans to potentially take a portion of the enrollment deposit paid by students to universities.
Currently, Edmit is set up to work only for undergrads and 4-year U.S. colleges, but Ducoff said it’s their intention to expand to other education purchases.
“There’s Zillow for home buying, there’s TrueCar or… CarGurus for automotive,” Ducoff said. “And yet for college, which is one of the largest purchases a person would make in a lifetime, there’s fairly little available information.”
Other non-Boston backers in this round include Neu VC; Tuscan Management; Tom McCleary, senior vice president at Salesforce; Daniel Jacobson, vice president at Netflix; and Claire Vo Lawless, vice president at Optimizely.