The education startup Bloomz has raised $2.3 million in funding for a secure app that allows parents and teachers to communicate.
The app allows teachers for grades pre-K through 8 to provide push notifications about students and activities, send photos of their children in the classroom or on field trips to parents, coordinate parent-teacher conferences, and organize classroom volunteers and donors of supplies. They can contact parents via group chat or send messages individually.
While the app requires registration of a user account, parents who opt out of registration can be contacted via email through the app. The app also makes one-click message translation into 80 different languages for parents who are more comfortable reading in a language other than English.
The app is currently free, reports Lora Kolodny of Tech Crunch, but the company is seeking beta testers for Bloomz for Schools, which would have an accompanying fee. The creators intend for this app to remain free, although they may include ads at some point in the future.
Bloomz, which launched in March 2015, is being used in 10,000 schools already, reports Tony Wan of EdSurge, and plans to expand to other organizations like churches, daycares, PTAs, Girl and Boy Scout troops, and summer camps. It won the EdTech Digest's 2016 Best New Product award, and the App Store has called it "perfect for every classroom." According to Kristijan Lucic of Android Headlines, it has a 4.3 rating on the Google Play store.
Chaks Appalabattula, the CEO of Seattle-based Bloomz, said:
We are thrilled to have the backing of these renowned investors to make the Bloomz visions of connecting parents to teachers, and to the world around their children, a reality. With rave reviews, strong word-of-mouth, and more than 95% of the teachers surveyed "loving" the app, it is clear we built an app that is intuitive, easy-to-use, and powerful in connecting pre-K-8 communities. Our team is looking forward to seeing Bloomz in the hands of every teacher and parent.
Investors in the seed round included 8VC, ff Venture Capital, Founder's Co-op, CorrelationVC, Wisemont Capital, Acequia Capital, and other individuals.
8VC co-founding partner Jake Medwell expects Bloomz to use the funding to solidify its strategy and continue growing and expanding — right now, the company only has six employees. He said:
Bloomz is uniquely positioned to engage today's young parents in the same way those parents are used to engaging with their personal and professional worlds on Facebook or LinkedIn.
Bloomz has competition from other apps like ClassDojo, Remind, ParentSquare, TalkingPoints, and FreshGrade, which all connect teachers and parents without revealing phone numbers or social media accounts, but many believe that it has features that will allow it to stand out among the crowded app marketplace.