Austin software maker Civitas Learning raises $16 million for growth

Feb 3, 2015
Austin American Statesman

Civitas Learning, which sells software designed to help college students make better educational decisions, has raised $16 million for expansion

The Austin-based company received the funding from lead investor Rethink Learning, a New York-based venture capital firm that focuses on education technology. Previous investors Austin Ventures and Emergence Capital also participated

The new money brings the total amount raised by Civitas Learning to $29 million

Founded in 2011, the company works with four-year universities, community colleges and other higher education institutions to analyze demographic, behavioral and academic data about their students

Using historical and current data, the company builds predictive models to help students select degrees and courses, help faculty and advisers identify at-risk students and help administrators identify which investments are working

The goal is to help students stay on track, get the most out of their educational experience and graduate on time, said Charles Thornburgh, founder and CEO of Civitas Learning

“The worst case scenario is you start higher ed and have a bad experience and don’t get a degree. All you’ve really completed is debt, which in many ways is worse than not going to college at all,” Thornburgh said. “We’re helping institutions, helping advisers and helping students themselves all figure out how to help more students graduate.”

About 2.3 million students at 750 campuses across the United States are using Civitas Software’s service. Customers include Texas A&M University, University of Washington, University of Texas and Florida International University

Civitas Learning generates revenue by charging subscription fees to member institutions, whose administrators, faculty and students receive personalized reports and recommendations based on the data

The company has 100 employees and expects to add as many as 60 more workers in 2015. It is hiring engineers, data scientists and sales and support workers

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