Software firm rSmart gets $10.75M in venture funding
rSmart (Scottsdale, AZ, USA), provider of education technology solutions built on open source, community developed Sakai and Kuali software, has secured $10.75 million in series B funding from ASAHI Net, GSV Capital Corp., and private investors. The new funding will support rSmart’s growth strategy in three main areas: cloud infrastructure expansion, accelerated platform development, and expanded professional services capacity.
The market for learning management systems (LMS) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) represents an estimated $12 billion opportunity within the education space. At a time when colleges and universities are grappling with shrinking budgets, rising costs, and legacy systems, many are embracing open source software as a cost effective alternative for everything from learning to finance and research systems.
“There are inherent advantages of open source, community developed software in the higher education space, and we see rSmart tapping into this market in a very successful way,” said Michael Moe, lead investor for GSV Capital Corp. “rSmart is helping universities realize lower total cost of ownership and higher quality products that are easy to use. Most importantly, rSmart’s customers are becoming part of a sustainable, collaborative movement using solutions built by higher education for higher education. GSV wants to be part of this movement, and rSmart is the company to make it happen.”
“As colleges and universities continue to adopt open source software at an increasing rate, this latest round of funding gives rSmart the investment to expand our business, especially our cloud-based solutions,” says Chris Coppola, CEO of rSmart. “By building with open source software at the foundation, we are able to provide our customers with all of the benefits of open source as well as additional capabilities, services, and support that are needed to deliver mission-critical applications at an enterprise scale.”
Several initiatives are currently underway including expansion of the rSmart cloud infrastructure that delivers Sakai in the Cloud (LMS) and Kuali in the Cloud (ERP). rSmart will also accelerate the development of its technology platform that unifies LMS and ERP solutions so institutions can better leverage data and capabilities that span the entire enterprise. In addition, rSmart is expanding its professional services team to meet the increasing demand of institutions that need to implement, support, and manage Sakai and Kuali solutions. The company currently has 79 employees, and plans to grow to 100 by the end of the year.
“rSmart has earned a reputation for delivering expert technology solutions for education, which has translated into strong sales and sustained growth,” said Takashi Takekawa, President and CEO of Asahi Net International, Inc. “The company is well positioned for leadership in the education technology space as institutions face challenges with a dynamically changing learning environment, legacy backend systems, and inefficient paper processes. We are excited to work with rSmart in this next stage of growth and look forward to bringing innovation to education.”
rSmart provides education technology solutions built on the open source, community development model of Sakai and Kuali. By leveraging a community development model, rSmart engages leading colleges and universities all over the world to develop and support innovative, enterprise open source software for teaching, learning, research, and administration. This collaborative approach to technology provides rSmart customers with a commercially reliable platform specifically designed by education, for education, to meet the unique needs of each institution.