AUSTIN, Texas–(–)–Nepris has closed a $5 million investment round led by K12, Inc., one of the nation’s preeminent education technology companies and a premier provider of career readiness education services. Nepris is a school-to-industry platform that has connected over 70,000 educators at over 600 school districts with industry professionals who work in a wide variety of careers from cosmetology to engineering. The new investment gives Nepris the ability to scale up, expand to new regions, and sign more industry partnerships supporting all 16 CTE (Career and Technical Education) clusters. Click to Tweet.
“Over 150 school district leaders reported in a Digital Promise study of challenges in education that college and career readiness and real-world learning are top educational priorities,” said Sabari Raja, Nepris co-founder and CEO. “Nepris addresses several of these challenges and makes learning more relevant because students meet and talk with industry professionals who every day apply what they have learned in school to their jobs.”
Ms. Raja added, “We also enable corporate partners and intermediaries—like economic development councils, chambers, STEM Hubs, and workforce boards—to leverage technology to engage working professionals with their communities and schools.”
Since being founded in 2014, Nepris has reached over 500,000 students, many of whom come from economically disadvantaged rural and urban communities. Educators, librarians, and counselors can virtually invite professionals to talk with their students about anything from how an insulin pump works to a more personal discussion about their educational and career path. They could talk about, for example, how learning about linear equations connects to being an architect. Employers can offer virtual tours, mock interviews, and online chats on diverse topics, from cybersecurity to retail careers. And, they can reach hundreds of classrooms across the country with one session.
These live virtual sessions are recorded and added to Nepris’ growing library of nearly 10,000 hours of videos, which are aligned to the U.S. Department of Labor O*NET OnLine database of career exploration opportunities.
“Meeting a working professional through Nepris can show students a college or a career pathway they may never have envisioned,” said Dr. Shaun McAlmont, president of Career Learning Solutions at K12, Inc. “Nepris helps address the challenge of making impactful and personal interactions happen at scale, and it aligns perfectly with our mission at K12 where we help students reach their full potential through inspired teaching and personalized learning.”
“Industry needs to be an integral part of the everyday classroom if we are to address the skills gap,” said Binu Thayamkery, co-founder and CTO of Nepris. “We have developed a platform that can bring down the barriers between educators and industry professionals to find, connect, and collaborate with each other to bring engaging live virtual interactions to students, and introduce them to people, places, and experiences that can help shape their future.”
Additional funders in this round include the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Next Wave Impact Fund, and SustainVC, all of which have been early investors in Nepris. New investors include Strada Education Network, Bonsal Capital, and others. Nearly 62 percent of students reached by Nepris come from lower socioeconomic groups, which aligns with these investors’ mission to help underserved students improve their academic performance.
Arcady Bay Partners is a strategic advisor to Nepris and has provided advice to the company on its financing and business strategies, including this financing process.
Austin-based Nepris provides a cloud-based platform connecting industry professionals with K-16 classrooms so that students see the relevance of what they are learning in school. Students are exposed to diverse role models and career paths in STEM, the Arts, retail, manufacturing, and countless other careers. Nepris makes it easy for teachers to leverage industry connections while offering a scalable platform for companies and regional intermediaries to easily and effectively engage the current workforce with the future workforce, virtually. Nearly a half-million students have participated in a Nepris virtual session or have viewed one of the 10,000 hours of videos in its library. See Nepris in action at Nepris.com/webinar or sign-up as a teacher or professional at Nepris.com.