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Venture Capital News: Homeroom Grabs $3.5M Seed Funding

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Homeroom, the convenient platform for after-school enrichment programs, announced today that it raised $3.5 million in seed funding to scale operations and expand offerings.
The round was led by Forerunner Ventures, the nation's top early stage consumer venture capital firm with participation from Felicis Ventures, Precursor Ventures, and Kapor Capital. Additional angel investors include Deborah Quazzo, Partner at GSV, Tyler Bosmeny, CEO of Clever, Jared Simon, Founder of Hotel Tonight, and Max Rhodes, CEO of Faire.

Currently there are 5.7 million elementary school students enrolled in after-school programs in the U.S., and parents spend $4000 per child annually on them, making this a $23 billion national market. Yet the demand remains largely unserved by today's marketplace --for every child enrolled in an after-school program, two are waiting to get in. Across the US, over 40 percent of children not currently enrolled in an after-school program would be, if available.

Between coordinating dates with vendors, tracking insurance, maintaining quality of classes and ensuring students safety, the demands of these programs have left PTA volunteer organizers frustrated with a piecemeal approach to managing all parties. Homeroom provides parents, vendors and organizers with an all-in-one solution to discover, book and manage after school classes hosted directly on their child's elementary school campus.

Because after-school enrichment activities on Homeroom are promoted by local PTA's, courses sell out immediately, creating a healthy marketplace for vendors. Furthemore PTA organizations vet and pre-approve all courses listed on Homeroom, so parents can rest easy knowing their children are safe and receiving valuable enrichment.

As a former teacher, Homeroom co-founder, Christina Walker, experienced a rise of parents and teachers interested in using after school as an opportunity to expose children to enrichment activities not found in the daily curriculum. While, CEO and co-founder, Casandra Stewart, a former venture capitalist, saw the rise of marketplace companies as a way to create flexible opportunities in today's workforce. Together, these Stanford classmates founded Homeroom when they realized how important it was to provide children with an opportunity to learn new subjects and also create a seamless transition for working parents to keep their child on site until the end of the workday.

"Dual income homes have become the norm in the U.S., and after-school programs are an expensive necessity for many families," said Stewart. "We've taken an inefficient, fragmented market and brought it online, creating a streamlined platform that provides ease of access for everyone."

Nationwide, school budget cuts have resulted in a decline in subjects like art and music being part of the school day curriculum. Homeroom enables PTA enrichment organizers in all types of districts with a turnkey platform to build robust after-school programs and provide all students with access to these important subject areas that have proven benefits.

"Homeroom is a game-changer for our after-school enrichment program," said Prisca Ekkins, PTA enrichment organizer at Chabot Elementary in Oakland, California. "We've received extremely positive feedback about the simplicity and professional feel of the platform from parents and vendors."

In the first month of inception, Homeroom surpassed an annual gross merchandise volume (GVM) run rate of $1 million dollars and 10 months later they have experienced 400% growth in school partnerships scaling to elementary schools in 5 states and over 17 districts across the US - all without an onsite sales team. Sixty percent of schools who have partnered with Homeroom have seen an increase in their program size since joining, with many others expressing interest in growing their program. With thousands of classes being set up for fall, Homeroom is preparing to support the families they served last school year as well as thousands more.

"Family life has changed dramatically since I was in elementary school. Given the predominance of dual income families, today's parents need solutions for their kids after hours, but writing checks, clicking web forms and generally not knowing where their kids are doesn't work anymore," said Brian O'Malley, General Partner at Forerunner Ventures. "Homeroom is building a three-sided marketplace which makes the experience better for parents, schools and the vendors that serve them. By owning what happens on campus, Homeroom is in a unique position to drive better adoption, pricing and transparency across the industry. We're excited to work closely with the team and help provide all students with access to high-quality programs, no matter where they live."

About Homeroom
Launched in 2018, Homeroom delivers a marketplace to help elementary PTA's manage their after-school enrichment programs. By providing a centralized management platform for enrichment organizers, Homeroom builds out both sides of its market in a cost-effective and self sustaining manner. From simplified registration, to tools that bring parents, vendors and enrichment organizers all to one place, Homeroom's platform provides a refreshing contrast to an otherwise broken booking experience. The team includes former educators and PTA volunteers who are passionate about ensuring high quality enrichment classes are convenient, accessible and affordable. For more information, visit:, or follow us on Twitter @JoinHomeroom or LinkedIn.
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