By Tom Loverro, Karthik Ramakrishnan, Jules Maltz, and Cack Wilhelm
Today, IVP is thrilled to announce our investment in Paper, the leading B2B educational support system and provider of high-dosage tutoring for K-12 school districts across North America. IVP is the lead investor in a $100M Series C round, and Tom Loverro will join the board as a Director as part of the fundraise. We are so excited about Paper because of both the tremendous market opportunity and the company’s execution to date. Paper grew over 8x in 2020 and is poised to continue its hypergrowth at scale in 2021 and beyond. Some of the country’s largest school districts are now Paper customers, and both large and small customers praise Paper’s platform, calling it an indispensable tool for boosting academic achievement and increasing equity.
We are eager to work with Phil, Roberto, and the entire Paper team to democratize access to academic support and address inequities in schools in every zip code in North America.
A Revolutionary Platform for Schools & Students
Co-Founder & CEO Phil Cutler started Paper in 2014 after he observed that 10-20% of his students sought after-school tutoring services. However, this small percentage of students usually represented the most affluent, while the ones struggling the most could not afford extracurricular help. Compelled by this inequity, Phil founded Paper to improve access and outcomes for all students, regardless of socio-economic, geographic, language, or other barriers.
Paper reimagines what educational support can mean, with a platform that is far more comprehensive than what school districts can offer students on their own or what most parents can do for their kids.
Parents and students do not pay to use the platform. Paper is purchased at the district or site level, ensuring that support is equitable, scalable, and cost-effective.
Paper provides students with 24/7, unlimited, 1:1 tutoring support in 200+ subject areas in four languages, with live help as well as asynchronous essay feedback. Students can connect with a live tutor within 15 seconds at any time of day and receive curriculum-aligned assistance from a highly trained and vetted expert. With Paper tutors acting as 24/7 virtual TAs, teachers are able to extend their bandwidth, personalize instruction, and lighten their workload. Administrators and teachers both receive visibility into all tutoring sessions, as well as actionable data on student engagement and progress.
A Massive Opportunity Ahead
We spoke with numerous Paper customers, including superintendents and other decision-makers who find the platform’s value to be incredibly clear. With Paper, districts can offer round-the-clock, on-demand, and personalized tutoring to all of their students, across every subject and across four languages. For any one school or district, offering such large-scale, intensive academic support in-person would come with age-old cost, staffing, and scheduling challenges—Paper’s model helps overcome these.How else can you effectively help students who are struggling with their coursework late at night, or ensure that tutor skills and supply always match student needs and demand?
And this model of support is having an impact. Districts adopting Paper are seeing the value in a measurable lift to academic achievement, plus rave reviews from students, teachers, and parents—with students even crediting Paper with their successful admission to college.
The beauty of Paper is that any student can access the platform (especially now that most districts have achieved 1:1 devices-to-students), helping to address equity gaps that are top of mind for nearly every K-12 leader.
Paper isn’t just another edtech tool – it’s an education platform that will soon be standard in every district across the country. We believe Paper will become one of the largest companies in the education and edtech categories. IVP is thrilled to partner with Paper to improve educational access in schools everywhere and to help build what will become a category-defining education company.
Read more on this news from Phil Cutler.
Tom Loverro, Karthik Ramakrishnan, Jules Maltz, and Cack Wilhelm are Investors at IVP, a later-stage venture capital firm based in Menlo Park, CA.