School analytics startup Kickboard scores $2M to put student data to work

Kickboard, a startup that gives teachers dashboards for tracking academic and behavioral data, is $2 million richer. On Wednesday, the New Orleans-based company said it had raised a Series A round of funding, bringing its total amount raised to $2.8 million.  The round was led by New Markets Venture Partners and Two Sigma Ventures, and included other angel investors.

Founded by Teach for America alum Jennifer Medbery, Kickboard provides an analytics platform for teachers and school leaders that captures, analyzes and shares student performance data. Like a souped-up digital gradebook, it lets teachers record academic data, like quizzes, tests and even more granular assessments, but also captures real-time behavior data.  So far, it’s been implemented in more than 200 schools nationwide.

Kickboard The platform, Medbery said, is meant to be used by teachers in the way that business professionals use their email – it’s constantly open and throughout the day, teachers can log demerits and incomplete assignments or class participation and other behaviors.

Teachers can share data with other teachers and build progress reports for parents, students and school leaders that give a comprehensive picture of a student’s performance. Beyond analyzing information to pinpoint areas of weakess and growth for individual students, it can give schools a tool for understanding school and classroom culture, to help improve classroom management and professional development.

“What we aim to do is shift the culture of a school to be high-performing and data usage is one part of this broader cultural idea,” Medbery said.

As we’ve covered before in write-ups on startups LearnSprout and Clever and the recently launched nonprofit InBloom, helping schools make sense of the different pools of educational data is a hot area right now. Kickboard has some competition, from school analytics startup Always Prepped, for example (see disclosure below), but as schools continue to embrace technology and use data to drive outcomes it’s little wonder that investors see an opportunity in it.

Medbery started working on the company in 2009 and launched in nationwide in 2011. With the new funding, the company intends to expand its team and invest in product development, particularly in data visualization.

Disclosure: Always Prepped is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media. Om Malik, founder of Giga Omni Media, is also a venture partner at True.