Businesswire | April 27, 2023
Summer, the certified B Corp committed to addressing the national student debt crisis, announced that it has raised $6M in new capital, with $18M raised in funding to date. General Catalyst, QED Investors, Flourish Ventures, Greycroft, Story Ventures, Gaingels, Calm VC, Partnership Fund for NYC, Fenway Summer, BDMI, and Avidbank participated in the financing.
The company also announced it has surpassed $1 billion in total projected savings for borrowers, and it has hired Leigh Gross as Chief Revenue Officer to lead partnerships with recordkeepers and other financial institutions interested in Summer Secure, the company’s automated solution for SECURE 2.0 retirement matching.
Student loan debt in the United States now stands at $1.75 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve, exceeding credit card and auto debt. It is often the first meaningful debt that young people incur, and can lead to a domino effect on their financial life–making it harder to save for retirement or buy a home years after graduating. Summer works with leading financial institutions, employers, and unions to provide a high impact, comprehensive digital solution that helps individuals plan for college costs, reduce the burden of student loan debt, and optimize retirement savings. To date, the company has delivered more than $1 billion in total projected savings for borrowers across the United States, offering assistance on every leg of the personal finance journey.
“We’re thrilled to announce this new funding, especially at a time when the need for better college planning and student loan solutions has never been more acute,” said CEO and co-founder Will Sealy. “As student loan forgiveness hangs in the balance and payments are set to resume for the first time in years, we’re excited to share our solution with more people to enable them to unlock financial freedom.”
Summer’s funding comes at an exciting time for the business as it continues to expand partnerships with retirement recordkeepers and payroll providers on the heels of its partnership with Fidelity Investments in 2022. Due to the recent passage of the SECURE 2.0 Act, many institutions are turning to Summer to support their employer clients with student loan retirement matching, leveraging Summer’s digital API suite and its expertise with operationalizing complex student loan policies into high-adoption solutions.
In a recent survey, 91% of employees with student debt said they would save more money for retirement if their employer offered a student loan repayment program. By ensuring that an employee’s student loan payments count toward the retirement match provided by their employer, Summer’s workplace solution can relieve student loan borrowers from having to make an impossible decision between paying down their debt or saving for retirement.
Summer was founded in 2017 by Sealy, a former Policy Analyst and Assistant to Sen. Elizabeth Warren and a veteran of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Chief Product Officer Paul Joo, with previous experience at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Boston Consulting Group, and Chief Product Officer Vincent Tran, who previously led product at Pave and Orchard and was an investor at the Partnership Fund for NYC.
Summer’s recent partnership milestones include a student loan benefit launched with Intuit’s personal finance subsidiary, Credit Karma, and an expanded partnership with the American Federation of Teachers to support their 1.7 million teachers, government employees, and healthcare workers. Summer will use the new funding to expand the platform to help even more borrowers with a holistic approach to financial well-being.
Summer partners with financial institutions and employers to empower their populations to reduce education costs and student debt through proven technologies, policy expertise and human support. Founded in 2017 by industry experts, Summer’s mission is to alleviate student loan debt for 46 million borrowers by providing leading solutions for college cost planning, automated enrollment for loan assistance plans, tuition assistance, student loan contributions and retirement matching, and emergency savings. Summer is a certified B Corporation.
PRnewswire | April 10, 2023
Promethean, a leading global education technology company, has received the highest honors from The EdTech Awards 2023, which were established in 2010 to recognize, acknowledge, and celebrate the most exceptional innovators, leaders, and trendsetters in education technology. The company's newest interactive display, the ActivPanel 9, won a Cool Tool Award in the "New product or service" category. In addition, Merlyn Mind was given a Trendsetter Award in the "Product or service setting a trend" category for their artificial intelligence (AI) digital assistant that Promethean exclusively sells.
Powered by Promethean's patented ActivSync technology, the ActivPanel 9 responds to the evolving educational environment by breaking down barriers between devices, enabling increased connectivity and collaboration, and supporting hybrid and in-classroom learning. It provides busy, overworked teachers with the ability to create seamless workflows, design engaging and interactive lessons, customize their personal panel settings, and experience greater mobility. ActivPanel 9 was also named a Cool Tool Award finalist in the "Emerging technology solution" and "E-learning, blended, flipped solution or remote solution" categories.
Merlyn Mind is the creator of Merlyn, an AI digital assistant built specifically for the unique needs of the classroom. Merlyn enables teachers to use voice commands or a remote to control their devices, internet browsers, apps, and more. With lightning-fast responsiveness, Merlyn frees teachers to move around the classroom to interact with students, simplifies everyday classroom tasks, and improves overall efficiency and productivity. Promethean entered an exclusive distribution agreement with Merlyn Mind in early 2022.
"We're thrilled to receive this recognition from The EdTech Awards and to be placed among the best and brightest of this exciting field," said Jennifer Foreman, chief marketing officer. "Promethean is committed to providing educators around the world with groundbreaking technology tools that will transform their classrooms and help students achieve to their fullest potential. It's an honor to be celebrated for being one of edtech's most important innovators and trendsetters."
Promethean is a leading education technology company working to transform the way the world learns and collaborates. From our founding in Blackburn, England, more than 25 years ago to our global operations serving 126 countries today, we've continued to explore, innovate, and inspire—designing learning and collaboration tools that are built for breakthroughs. Our award-winning interactive display, ActivPanel, and lesson delivery software, ActivInspire and ClassFlow, were designed to engage students, connect colleagues, and bring out the brilliance in everyone. With headquarters in Seattle, Washington, and offices worldwide, Promethean is a subsidiary of the NetDragon Websoft Holdings Limited (HKSE: 0777) group of companies.
ENTREPRENEURS AND LEADERS
Globenewswire | May 09, 2023
Go1, the world’s learning content expert, announced today the acquisition of Blinkist, a mobile-first learning app that summarizes key ideas from professional books and podcasts which is used by tens of millions of people worldwide. The acquisition forms the foundation of an innovative new model of corporate learning which seeks to engage learners throughout their day-to-day lives.
Go1 has made a name for itself as an aggregator of learning and development content, offering access to tens of thousands of short-form courses that are typically consumed in a corporate setting. However, engaging learners on a grand scale relies not only on democratizing access to more types of learning content but also on making that content available in more places, meeting learners where they are. For many online corporate learners, that's on their cell phone or during their commute.
This is where Blinkist excels.The acquisition of Blinkist expands Go1’s appeal to an audience that seeks to learn new skills and stay up to date on business and self-improvement topics with bite-sized content, consumable on demand. Learners can access Blinkist content through their corporate learning management system (LMS) but, for the first time ever, they will also be able to access content on their mobile, in CarPlay, or wherever and whenever they choose to learn.
“The combination of Go1 and Blinkist offers something not replicated in any corner of the corporate learning market: an experience of ongoing learning that serves professional goals that’s purpose-built to be personally engaging,” said Andrew Barnes, co-CEO of Go1. “Go1 is not entering the content production market – we’re combining our existing content aggregation service with Blinkist’s similar service for books to open a new model for consumption of any type of learning content.”
“I have been following the Go1 journey for a number of years and believe in the impact and opportunity that education affords,” said Charles Conn, chair of Patagonia, co-founder and partner of Monograph Capital. “As a co-author of Bulletproof Problem Solving, I know first-hand how critical it is to reach a broader audience, and it is great to now have our audiobook, book summary, and short course all available through one subscription. Go1's acquisition of Blinkist will significantly expand top content offerings to its users, increasing access and knowledge from authors and researchers to empower learners and organizations across the world.”
“We're thrilled with Go1's acquisition of Blinkist," said Thilo Semmelbauer, managing director at Insight Partners. “Blinkist’s mobile content and product will expand the learning opportunities already available to Go1’s customers and create a powerful pair with Go1’s corporate learning offering. We're excited for what's to come." Insight Partners will remain an investor in the combined entity, as will Greycroft, Headline, IBB, and MGO.
Mike Bertolino, global leader of EY’s Skills Foundry which partners with Go1 for access to professional learning content, shared similar enthusiasm on the deal.“EY Skills Foundry is an upskilling and reskilling platform. We are excited about the Blinkist acquisition and the ability to now offer summaries such as Jim Collins’ ‘Good to Great’ to our customers,” said Bertolino. “We partnered with Go1 over a year ago due to the depth of their library and expertise on learning. We believe the need for upskilling and reskilling will only increase in the future as the global workforce becomes more agile. Having access to both bite-sized content and longer form courses is ideal.”
In addition to its popular consumer app, Blinkist also works with leading employers to offer leadership and skill development to their employees.
Go1 is the world’s learning content expert, aggregating content from top providers to deliver high-quality education and training across a range of industries and topics. Over 8 million learners from over 60 countries use Go1 to access curated, personalized training, and skills development courses in the formats that best suit them – all in a single solution. Home to a vast library of over 100,000 courses from hundreds of leading content partners, Go1 is a Y Combinator 2023 Top Company, an SAP Partner with an SAP Endorsed App, and an EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award Nominee. Key investors include SEEK, SoftBank Vision Fund II, M12 (Microsoft's Venture Capital Arm), Madrona Venture Group, and AirTree Ventures as well as Blinkist investors including Insight Partners, Greycroft, Headline, IBB, and MGO.
Blinkist connects people with powerful ideas from leading authors and experts to broaden perspectives, gain knowledge, and spark understanding in all areas of their life, both personal and professional. Used by over 26 million people worldwide, Blinkist finds the most relevant, impactful books and podcasts and distills them down to their key ideas, which can be read or listened to in 15-minute explainers called Blinks. In addition to individual learners, over 1,500 organizations around the globe have already chosen Blinkist for Business to empower their teams at their point of need—anytime, anywhere.