Florida Funders Invests In ChalkTalk, Personalized Learning Program for Real-Time Instruction, Designed to Shape The Future of Teaching & Training
TAMPA, Fla. (May 25, 2021) –Florida Funders, a hybrid of a venture capital fund and an angel investor network that’s recognized as the top VC in the Southeast region by Pitchbook, announced its sixth investment from its Fund 2 in ChalkTalk, a machine-learning platform for teachers and trainers to create real-time curriculum to personalize lessons and rapidly help students learn.
Using results from a student placement test, ChalkTalk’s machine-learning software generates a standards-aligned curriculum customized to fit within existing class schedules. Acting as the ultimate teacher’s assistant, ChalkTalk enables teachers to build hyper-personalized courses in under 2 minutes. Unlike fully self-paced competitors that give students practice videos and content snippets for individual consumption, ChalkTalk generates personalized lesson plans and actionable teaching materials for teacher-led instruction—whether that teaching takes place in-person or remotely over a web-conferencing platform such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom.
Florida Funders has invested in ChalkTalks $3MM seed round from the Florida Funders’ Fund 2, LLC., supporting ChalkTalk’s investment in EdTech ecosystem integrations which will expand its product offering from 11th grade ELA & Math all 12-grade levels. The funds will also be used to fuel the expansion of its engineering, sales support, and marketing teams. Prior to the seed round with Florida Funders, ChalkTalk initially raised $0.5M on SAFEs.
ChalkTalk mitigates all the prep work that goes into creating personalized lesson plans, teaching materials, in-class activities, and homework assignments, bringing prep time down to two minutes. ChalkTalk’s initial go-to-market focuses on the largest education sector, K-12, but can be adapted to higher ed, corporate training, and lifelong learning. Within K-12, they’re already having tremendous success: after just 15 weeks, high school students who used ChalkTalk experienced an increase of 200-600% on state test scores compared to their peers after a full year of traditional instruction.
“Education in America is broken. ChalkTalk has taken both an innovative and technology-driven approach to helping teachers be more effective both in the classroom and remotely,” said Tom Wallace, managing partner at Florida Funders. “ChalkTalk is seeing the most traction in Florida. With the state having some of the largest school districts in the US, including Miami-Dade, ChalkTalk is quickly evolving from a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have” for both teachers and students.”
Florida Funders was incredibly impressed by ChalkTalk Founder, Mohannad Arbaji. Education ultimately changed his life after he received a full-ride to Brown University where he studied Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Economics. Mohannad then used his experience scoring perfect scores on the SAT I and SAT II to write the first English language learner SAT Prep Book and bootstrap his first education company prior to ChalkTalk from $300 to a franchise operating across 3 countries by the time he was a senior in college. Evolving those kinds of educational chops, along with his engineering experience and pure passion is exactly what Florida Funders looks for in a founder.
ChalkTalk has received profound testimonials from educators including Donielle Gregory, Vice Principal at Lake Nona High School, Orange County Public School District who said, “We’ve been trying to improve our graduation rates for years. This year, all we did was add ChalkTalk for 14 weeks and we raised our concordant test scores by 19%.” Anita McCoy, Teacher at Bridge to Success Academy, Duval County Public Schools also said this about ChalkTalk, “10/10. Easy to use and access. ChalkTalk is my success story. I recommend it to every teacher.”
Purchasing power lies with school administrators such as principals and superintendents that are on 3-5 year contracts tied almost solely to the results of state tests. If students do not pass, the schools get turned around and administrators could lose their jobs, while positive scores could result in up to a 50% increase in budget depending on the state. Without a sales team, ChalkTalk climbed from $45k to $1.25M in ARR in the past 11 months.
“Unlike other systems that are solely focused on asynchronous learning, our personalized learning solution mirrors existing class flow which is teacher-led instruction. ChalkTalk lets you choose your own curriculum, makes it adaptive, turns it into lesson plans and teaching materials, and then aligns it to your school schedule,” said Mohannad Arbaji, CEO & Founder at ChalkTalk. “We’re excited to partner with Florida Funders and what’s to come as we grow in the state of Florida. At ChalkTalk, we see Florida in a progressive stage for education as 90% of our users including teachers and students come from the state.”
ChalkTalk addresses the biggest challenge EdTech is currently facing: educator adoption and engagement. ChalkTalk customers include Boston Public Schools, Orange County Public Schools, Duval County Public Schools, Dysart Unified School District, and more.
Florida Funders is constantly and actively looking to grow and add investors to their network. They have fully deployed their Fund 1 and are hard at work seeking new investment opportunities.
About Florida Funders, LLC
Recognized as the top VC in the Southeast region by Pitchbook, Florida Funders is a hybrid of a venture capital fund and an angel investor network that discovers, funds, and builds early-stage technology companies in Florida and beyond. In order for Florida to evolve from the Sunshine State to the Startup State, we ensure there is as little friction as possible in the ecosystem, that investors have access to meaningful deal flow, and entrepreneurs have access to a wide range of accredited investors, capital, and experience. Florida Funders educates our community of investors, provides transparency during the funding process, fosters communication across the ecosystem, and empowers the strategic relationships that drive investments. Our team is composed of serial entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and experienced angel investors singularly focused on uncovering Florida’s next breakout technology companies. To learn more, visit www.floridafunders.com.
ChalkTalk is a platform that helps teachers build & run their own real-time learning courses. First teachers choose their curriculum & set schedule. Then their students take a placement test online to assess their starting skill level. ChalkTalk tech uses those inputs to dynamically create lesson plans for every day in the school schedule. Each lesson plan contains instructional materials for real-time teacher-led instruction, small group activities for real-time collaboration amongst students, and personalized practice exercises for every student—and everything is personalized to the skills of students in the classroom. ChalkTalk is currently powering ELA & math instruction in districts across the nation. But In the future, ChalkTalk will be the go-to place for anyone who wants to teach (or learn) anything in real-time, whether in-person or remotely To learn more, visit www.chalktalk.com.