Funding to accelerate universal K-12 access to remote special education related services, during COVID-19 closures and beyond
NEW YORK – May 19, 2020 – PresenceLearning, the leading provider of live online special education related services for K-12 schools, today announced that it has received a $27 million Series D investment led by Bain Capital Double Impact. Existing investors Catalyst Investors, New Markets Venture Partners and Catamount Ventures also participated in the round. The latest funding positions the company to accelerate its expansion of online therapy and assessment services to meet growing school needs.
PresenceLearning was founded in 2009 to help schools better address and serve the needs of special education students through remote access to the company’s proprietary teletherapy platform and network of more than 1,000 licensed clinicians. Prompted by COVID-19-related school closures, districts across the U.S. are expanding online capabilities to better adapt their models to remote learning, educating their staff for online engagement with students, and incorporating flexibility amid uncertain timelines for a return to onsite instruction. PresenceLearning’s professional development training and access to its proprietary platform for school-based special education teams are enabling schools across the country to reach students at home.
There are now seven million students across the country with individualized education plans (IEPs), but nationwide shortages in qualified clinicians leave schools unable to properly serve these students. With multiple offerings including teletherapy, mental health services and remote psychoeducational assessments, PresenceLearning helps to ensure that special education students have access to services tailored to their unique interests, needs and developmental abilities. The company has become an integral, parent-approved partner to school special education programs across the country with over 2.5 million teletherapy sessions completed to date. In today’s COVID-19 era, every school district needs an online contingency plan. School teams across the country are benefitting from PresenceLearning’s deep expertise in serving special education populations online, and are using the PresenceLearning platform to reach students at home and to continue providing uninterrupted support.
“Bain Capital Double Impact’s commitment to reducing gaps in skills and educational achievement for underserved populations aligns perfectly with our mission. We aim to ensure that every student in the public education system receives the special education services they are entitled to, and to create a new way to work for highly skilled school-based clinicians seeking the flexibility of remote work,” said Kate Eberle Walker, CEO of PresenceLearning. “Our work has taken on new importance and expanded relevance this year, and this capital will support our continued growth and help us reach even more students and clinicians in special education programs.”
“Even before COVID-19, too many special education students across the country were underserved due to chronic staffing shortages and capacity limitations. PresenceLearning’s purpose-built platform delivers key teletherapy and tele-assessment services that support K-12 schools in providing greater access to high-quality clinical services and the individual attention needed to meet their students’ learning goals. We are thrilled to partner with Kate and her team to accelerate the company’s growth and to help maximize its lasting impact,” said Iain Ware, Managing Director at Bain Capital Double Impact.
“Since first partnering with PresenceLearning nearly five years ago, the company has grown significantly and become the largest and only scaled provider of special education teletherapy services to K-12 schools,” said Brian Rich, Managing Partner at Catalyst Investors. “The current pandemic has proven PresenceLearning to be a must-have technology for school districts. With the federal mandate that all schools receiving government funding must provide necessary services for students with IEPs, we expect the company to continue its impressive growth. We look forward to supporting the company in its mission of improving the lives of students with special needs.”
Raymond James advised PresenceLearning on the transaction.
About Bain Capital Double Impact
Bain Capital Double Impact is the impact investing strategy of Bain Capital, a leading global private investment firm. Bain Capital Double Impact leverages deep industry experience and an active, value-added approach to build great companies that deliver both competitive financial returns and meaningful, measurable social and environmental good. Bain Capital Double Impact partners with companies across three themes – health & wellness, education & workforce development, and sustainability to create long-term value and meaningful social impact at scale. For more information, visit www.baincapitaldoubleimpact.com.
PresenceLearning, Inc. is the leading provider of live online special education related services to K-12 schools. The company connects speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and behavioral and mental health professionals with students through its proprietary online platform, and has delivered more than 2.5 million teletherapy sessions to hundreds of K-12 schools and districts across the U.S. through its network of over 1,000 certified clinicians. For more information, visit www.presencelearning.com.
About Catalyst Investors
Catalyst Investors is a growth equity firm founded in 2000. Catalyst’s mission is to earn superior returns by helping entrepreneurs build great companies. Catalyst employs a rigorous top-down research focus that seeks to identify investment opportunities in companies and industries that will exhibit strong revenue growth. The firm works in true partnership with talented management teams to build long-term value. Past and present Catalyst portfolio companies include SaaS-based businesses (Weave, Fusion Risk Management, Jobvite, MessageLabs, MINDBODY), Business Services (Datavail, Envoy, Reputation Institute), Food Tech (BrightFarms, ChowNow), Healthcare IT (Clinicient, PresenceLearning), and Internet Infrastructure (InSite Wireless Group, Latisys, Xplornet). For more information, visit www.catalyst.com.
For Bain Capital Double Impact:
Edward de Sciora