GoingVC Partners: Why We Invested in Bansho

Venture Capital
May 25, 2021

GoingVC Partners is the investment vehicle of GoingVC. Interested in co-investing? Join GoingVC Angels for access to high quality, pre-diligenced deal flow and opportunities like this. For more about GoingVC Partners, click here.

Executive Summary

Parents are looking for new ways to teach their kids, but struggle to manage planning, programming, and teaching while managing their own lives.

Now, more than ever, parents have a front-seat view into their child’s learning agenda and more control over it than ever before. Despite being in this position, they lack the time, context, and knowledge to effectively support their child’s at-home learning. They are left with an overwhelming amount of options with very little support in planning, personalizing, and optimizing their child’s learning agenda.

Bansho is the learning partner for busy parents. The platform gives parents access to a dedicated ‘learning partner’ that curates bite-sized learning playlists from the world’s best teachers, equips families with multiple ways to engage (text, live coaching, on-demand lessons), and engages kids in a way that suits their learning styles.

The term ‘bansho’ is a Japanese teaching technique that roughly translates to “chalkboard writing”. Through this method, the various student approaches to a presented problem are recorded and discussed via the most common classroom device: a chalkboard. While chalkboards have been overtaken by other innovative tools, ‘bansho’ shows the wonders that occur when educators and students come together in a unique, engaging way, even with the simplest of platforms: a common language, a collaborative spirit, and a healthy experience.

The Problem and Solution

Bansho’s goal is to (1) empower parents with the support they need to drive their children’s learning agendas and (2) enable teachers from across the world to become top-notch, educational champions for families.

Why is this important?

Parents lack the time and knowledge to drive their children’s learning content agenda.

Kids are drawn to the same types and styles of content their parents enjoy. No safe way for parents to provide today. Teachers are already attempting to make short-form content for students, but cannot formally share it with students due to school-system security constraints.

Why is this a challenging problem to solve?

Bansho is building something that doesn’t exist for parents today.

The company will bridge the gap between families, teachers, media, and technology. It is a large, interweaving network that requires trust and execution. It is an area that the team is dedicated to spend years in solving.

Why We Love It: Bansho

Below are some of the main reasons we invested in Bansho. Beyond these, Bansho’s B2C + Saas business model aligns with our preferred themes, especially given Bansho is already empowering teachers by giving them the tools to promote their content and is adding new functionality within it’s tech platform, expanding its growth opportunities. Here’s some more things that attracted us to Bansho:

- Strong Co-Founders: Michael Scissons is a serial founder, prev ZX Ventures, Facebook, etc. Prannoy has an MBA from Yale, a Masters in Education from Johns Hopkins, and did TFA in Baltimore, teaching Math for two years. He previously did Product Mgmt at Facebook and Management Consulting at Deloitte.

- Large Market, High CAGRs: Huge market opportunity both domestic and international (over $50Bn opportunity in the US alone). The global edtech market size is $76.4Bn as of 2019, and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.1% from 2020 to 2027

- Value Proposition: Parents are looking for new ways to teach their kids, but struggle to manage planning, programming, and teaching while managing their own lives.

- Strong Co-Investors: The round is currently oversubscribed with a host of brand name and media investors — Slow Ventures, Garage Capital, Gaingels, Ryan Holmes (CEO of Hootsuite), David Kidder (CEO of Bionic), Carolyn Everson (Head of Sales @FB), and others.

Are you a founder or funder? We’d love to chat!

For Founders: GoingVC Partners is a sector-agnostic, seed and early stage investor actively looking to fund strong founding teams, preferably led by or featuring those with minority backgrounds. If that sounds like you, we’d love to hear from you!

For Funders: We offer accredited investors the opportunity to co-invest alongside GoingVC Partners through GoingVC Angels. To learn more about the program, click here, or apply to join directly here.

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