Claudia and Carolina Recchi used a big guiding question when they first started establishing EdSights.
“What would we want to know to avoid [college] students from dropping out in a perfect world [where] we had a magic wand that allowed us to collect data on everything we wanted on our fingers?” Claudia said. The first few years of the co-career founders were devoted to deciphering data points, whether it was assisting students in finding appropriate resources or simply listening to their problems and communicating them to decision-makers. They settled on deploying a chatbot as a tool to efficiently check in with college students while also collecting data in a timely manner.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the chatbot received a significant dose of vulnerability. Last year, the company began offering its services to universities in search of new methods to retain and engage students, particularly as the epidemic shut down campuses and left students feeling more isolated than ever. EdSights’ product was defined last year by its chatbot. The chatbot, disguised as a school mascot, would send targeted questions and messages to pupils in order to learn about their main concerns. It would then connect them to university resources such as financial aid, food, and security.
EdSights sold the technology to universities looking for new methods to retain and engage students, especially while the epidemic disrupted basic communication worldwide.
Album VC, which also led early investments in Podium, Andela, and Degreed, said today that the startup has raised $5 million in a Series around. Lakehouse, Good Friends, Chegg CEO Dan Rosensweig, and Deborah Quazzo of GSV Ventures are among the other investors in the round. EdSights’ total known money raised to date is $8 million, thanks to the additional funding.
The new money is gaining traction. EdSights declined to provide precise figures, but did say that their annual income has increased by 6 times. It also attracted 70 consumers, up from 16 in May. Customers can be colleges, institutions, or universities. Carolina Recchi, who co-founded the company with her sister Claudia, claimed it is “very close to being profitable” and would be if they decided to stop employing new employees. Given these revised growth targets, she believes EdSights will be profitable in 14 months.
The ability of EdSights to inspire action based on the visibility it gives is an ongoing issue. Universities are renowned for dealing with red-tape, which might stifle new projects or slow implementation, lowering EdSights’ return on investment. The co-founders countered by claiming that the student body data will allow institutions to spend more wisely on things that students want and save money on services that are becoming increasingly irrelevant.
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