Toronto’s OneClass Raises $1.6 Million Series A Round

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Former FounderFuel graduate OneClass, the Toronto-based startup that seeks to provide relevant, up to date and personalized course content after class ends, has raised $1.6 million in venture funding. OneClass thinks that simply reading class slides is just not enough for the average student to excel in their courses.With over 200,000 students sharing educational content, the startup raised its Series A round from SAIF Partners, Real Ventures, and others. Formerly called “NoteSolution”, OneClass graduated from the FounderFuel accelerator program in 2012.

“Making that transition from high school to university is difficult, especially from a 20 person classroom to a 500 person class. Students have limited and costly options to find extra help after a lecture ends – the choices are Google, Youtube and private tutors charging $40-80/hr,” said CEO Jack Tai. “OneClass is tackling an issue that affects millions of students worldwide.”

OneClass is an educational platform crowdsourcing university course content. According to the startup, it’s currently on its way to becoming the largest global interactive library for educational content across all levels of education.

Since its inception in September 2010, the site has evolved from a simple course note repository to a richer and more comprehensive platform. The site now covers over 10,000 courses with notes, exam prep videos and common university subject videos from introductory level calculus to 1st-year chemistry. OneClass leverages its community of students to help produce content by allowing subject experts to create videos and other supplementary material, covering common questions for a wide offering of exams.

“Every day, OneClass saves thousands of students hours from filtering through unrelated and outdated content from the web,” wrote the company.

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OneClass represents an interesting example of post-accelerator teams raising money. There’s always much interest and rah-rah surrounding teams who secure investment on or just after their graduation day from their accelerator, but for others the path to investment isn’t as straight. For OneClass it was about one and a half years after graduating from FounderFuel.

However the program’s general manager, Ian Jeffrey, said it wasn’t a surprise that Tai and his team eventually raised its Series A round. He called the CEO a confident guy with good energy, and someone who knows the space well. “There’s a common misconception among startups that upon completing an accelerator they walk out with a million dollars,” Jeffrey told BetaKit. “The accelerator gives you momentum but in the end it’s a long process, so we’re really excited that they were able to raise this money to take it to the next level.”

In August 2011 the company raised a small seed round of $230,000 from angels, and again in May of last year the company raised an additional $435,000, likely from the same investors.

Currently the team is “extremely focused” on maintaining and improving the quality of all site content. Such measures include the use of badges and rewards for top contributors. It’s currently prevalent in over 50 schools across Canada and the US.

According the OneClass, its ultimate goal is to instantly deliver invaluable educational content that is immediately useful and relevant to any knowledge seeker on one platform.

Joseph Czikk

Joseph Czikk

Joseph Czikk previously has written for the National Post, Montreal Gazette, Vancouver Sun, Regina Leader Post, Techvibes and BC Business Online. Joseph often goes crazy on twitter during NHL and NFL games.

  • Sean Gu

    Great article!

  • Jack Tai

    Joseph – Thanks for the write up!