SimpleTuition Raises $4.4 Million in Financing; Atlas Venture and IDG Ventures Lead Series A Round
BOSTON, MA – APRIL 14, 2006 – SimpleTuition, a new company that will simplify the college financial aid process, today announced the completion of a $4.4 million Series A financing led by Atlas Venture and IDG Ventures Boston. As part of the funding, Eric Hjerpe from Atlas Venture and Jeff Bussgang from IDG Ventures will join the company's board of directors.
The process of assembling education loans for college is a complicated and frustrating experience for many students and parents. SimpleTuition will focus on helping to simplify this process by presenting students and families with a free, dynamic, Internet-based tool that competitively showcases loan offerings across various loan categories. This service will be available at www.simpletuition.com and through participating university financial aid offices.
"Many families use a combination of three, four – even five financing products when funding each year of a college education," said Kevin Walker, SimpleTuition's co-founder and CEO. "To date there has been no means for families to easily compare each of these options to determine the best combination of education loans. We are thrilled to have the support of Atlas and IDG Ventures as we move towards rolling out a new way for students, families and college financial aid professionals to make sense of this complicated process."
SimpleTuition was founded by Kevin Walker and Patrick Kandianis who both bring deep domain expertise to the company. As former SVP of Marketing and one of the first employees at the First Marblehead Corporation, Kevin led marketing, business development and product group teams in his ten years with the firm. As a former Vice President at First Marblehead and Director of Business Development at Jenzabar, Patrick brings great experience in acquiring relationships with educational institutions to the company. Kevin will lead SimpleTuition as CEO and Patrick will serve as EVP and Chief Sales Officer.
"Obtaining a college education is a universal aspiration, synonymous with the 'American Dream'," said Jeff Bussgang, general partner, IDG Ventures. "But, the cost of higher education is rising much more quickly than the rate of inflation. These forces are driving students and their families to tap an increasingly fragmented patchwork of funding sources. SimpleTuition will provide comparison shopping capabilities and other efficiencies in the higher education space to address this major problem."
"The financial aid market for higher education is both enormous and extremely complicated," said Eric Hjerpe, partner at Atlas Venture. "In 2005 alone, it is estimated that students and their families secured $143 billion in financial aid to pay for college; and the process for finding the right financial sources is a frustrating, and sometimes costly, experience. SimpleTuition has right the team, with the right vision to make this process easier."
Founded in 2005, SimpleTuition helps simplify the process for students to achieve higher education financing. The company is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts and is funded by Atlas Venture and IDG Ventures Boston.
About Atlas Venture
Atlas Venture is a leading early-stage international venture capital firm that invests in technology and life sciences businesses in the U.S. and Europe. Since its inception in 1980, its partners have helped build over 300 companies in more than 15 different countries. In the past decade, 25 portfolio companies have been acquired and 37 are now public companies with an aggregate market capitalization of over $12 billion. Atlas Venture is currently investing from its seventh fund and manages over $2 billion in capital through offices in Boston, London, Munich, and Paris. For more information, visit www.atlasventure.com .
About IDG Ventures Boston
IDG Ventures Boston is a leading venture capital firm focused on investing in early-stage information and healthcare technology companies. With $280 million under management, the firm is an independent partnership making investments on behalf of its limited partners. The fund is affiliated with IDG Ventures, a global $1 billion network of funds spanning Asia, Europe and North America. International Data Group, the world's largest IT media, research, and event company, is the flagship limited partner for IDG Ventures Boston. Through the IDG global network, IDG Ventures Boston is able to uniquely add value to its portfolio companies by facilitating revenue acceleration and global expansion and establishing relationships with key strategic partners. For more information, visit www.idgventures.com .