Engrade began in 2003 by way of a senior high school student who wanted a much better approach to connect with teachers on homework, assessments, and messages. Through the years, user feedback and innovative ideas have shaped Engrade in to a robust learning management system. Today, Engrade is a division of digital learning-focused CTB/McGraw-Hill and helps educators, parents, and students through all stages of the learning cycle from curriculum likely to assessments.
This week, Engrade put the finishing touches with an emblematic story in the world of education startups. In 2003, senior high school student Bri Holt decided he’d heard enough griping from classmates (and teachers) over the absence of a quick, easy way to view their grades online. So, like any budding web developer, he decided to build that simple, engrade login for his secondary school.
As the product found a number of eager early customers among teachers and classmates, adoption wasn’t exactly explosive. So, because it goes, Holt soon graduated and advanced to many other pursuits. Meanwhile, left to the own devices, the gradebook slowly and deliberately continued to draw in frustrated teachers looking for the best online grading solution. So, thinks kept snowballing.
By 2010, nearly seven years later, its user base had grown sizable enough that Holt felt justified to go back to developing the merchandise full-time. He chose to officially turn the gradebook right into a business and expand its functionality – what would later become Engrade .
Fast forward to in the week, and publishing giant McGraw-Hill Education agreed to purchase Holt’s online gradebook – now also known as engrade login – for the purpose TechCrunch hears from sources was around $50 million. To education entrepreneurs, it’s an enviable outcome and a path (albeit perhaps not a totally replicable one) worth emulation.
However, all in all, this process, from founding to sale, took over 10 years. To some extent, it’s not surprising considering that building and selling an education company (for virtually any real return) takes years, maybe even decades. Obviously, in the event you build something which solves a difficulty and this your customer really needs, adoption and customer acquisition can come. Since it pertains to education: Teachers agdwlr simple tools that will make their lives easier, and if you build one on their behalf, and work along with them to improve it, they’ll become the perfect evangelists.
Ultimately, the acquisition seems to be a far more-than-positive outcome for Engrade’s founders, its team as well as its investors. The company had raised about $8 million total over two rounds, including from NewSchools Ventures, Zac Zeitlin, Expansion Venture Capital, Kapor Capital, Javelin Venture Partners, Rethink Education and Samsung Ventures, amongst others.