Dealflow | December 5, 2017

Upswing raises $1.5 million to reduce isolation of online students

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Students pursuing online degrees are often older or part-time students trying to balance advanced education with other life responsibilities.

They are less likely than traditional four-year college students to complete their studies and “are more likely to experience isolation that impedes their success,” says Marissa Lowman, head of education practice at Village Capital.

Upswing is an edtech startup, backed by VilCap, that works with universities and community colleges to improve student retention by extending on-campus services, like tutoring and advising, to their online student communities.

Upswing serves 700,000 students in 70 colleges and universities, mostly public institutions, and many of which are community colleges. Its $1.5 million seed round was led by Lumina Impact Ventures, with backing from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Rethink Education.

Upswing also secured $75,000 as a winner of Village Capital’s 2017 edtech cohort.