ClassDojo founders Sam Chaudhary, Liam Don and their team of developers have announced the much anticipated premium content they’ve talked about before is now here. Thanks to a recent $35 million round of venture funding, they will now add Beyond School as an extra purchase feature to their main app. What this will do is add some learning tools for students to use under the guidance of their parents while they’re outside the class and tackle homework assignments. Teachers had been requesting a few extra options like this to cover learning areas that they weren’t quite able to address with students on their time. The latest funding for the Beyond School features now puts ClassDojo at a valuation somewhere near $400 million.
Chaudhary and Don started this app because they believed so much more could be done to improve education in much the same way other apps from Silicon Valley were disrupting major economic sectors. They didn’t know exactly what they should do to make an effective app for teachers, so they visited a convention to get ideas directly from the teachers themselves. Initially what they came up with was a behavior points award system for encouraging good behavior from students, but they started building onto that and in a few years had practically their own classroom Facebook platform. But unlike the issues facing social media companies regarding data privacy and selling it off to advertisers, ClassDojo doesn’t do any of that and they’ve introduced enhanced security protocols to prevent personally identifiable information on students from being compromised. Beyond just being an app of learning assistance and behavior rewarding, ClassDojo has enabled parents and teachers to be in constant communication and even forego parent-teacher meetings.
ClassDojo has remained free and been able to improve its experience because Chaudhary and Don elected not to spend any capital on advertising. To them, as long as people are talking about the app there’s no need to put intrusive ads in it or spend exorbitant amounts of money on TV commercials. There’s also been no immediate pressure from investors to monetize the app, though they are pleased with the new Beyond School addition.