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Ukrainka attracted $ 12 million investment in its startup in the USA: what kind of project

ClassTag is a platform for communication between parents and teachers. She works in the USA, but was founded by Ukrainian Vlad Lotkin. The platform recently attracted $ 5 million investment from US companies. Editors told the details and the history of the project.

Photo: Shutterstock

What happened

ClassTag recently raised $ 5 million in seed funding (high-risk investments in a new business or company at an early stage of development).

Investors include AlleyCorp, Contour Ventures, Founder Collective, Newark Venture Partners, Smart Hub and TMT Investments, as well as venture capitalist John Martinson. What will be the investment, do not specify.

Previously, the company has already attracted investments from venture companies: today the total amount of financing is $ 11,6 million.

According to Vlad Lotkin, among investors there is Eric Paley, who is on the Forbes list of “Top 10 Most Successful Investors” and is the managing partner of the Founder Collective fund.

What is ClassTag

ClassTag is a free tool for communication between parents and teachers.

Parents can receive information on events, excursions, fundraising and much more through the platform, and teachers can communicate with parents, plan school meetings and share information necessary for study.

To communicate through the platform, it is not necessary to download the application. You can receive messages via mail, SMS or even in paper form. All information is translated into more than 60 languages, depending on the user's choice.

The project was founded by Ukrainian Vlad Lotkin in 2015. Now the platform has more than 2 million users across the United States, it is used in 25 thousand schools.

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Earned ClassTag on advertising that companies place inside the platform. Part of the proceeds is transferred to classrooms for supplies.

How did ukrainian get into corporate states

ClassTag co-founder Vlad Lotkina grew up in Kharkov. She studied at the Faculty of Finance, she also adopted a lot from her father-entrepreneur.

At 22, she managed to enter the Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia and move to the United States.

“I opened the ranking of MBA schools, applied for the three best programs and got to Wharton,” says Vlada.

After training there, Lotkina was able to easily get a job at the Boston Consulting Group, a prestigious international company that specializes in management consulting. Vlada worked there for several years, after which she moved to Dell EMC (an American corporation that provides services and products for data storage, data protection, analytics). She worked there for another 8 years.

“It became easy for me. I realized that I was not testing myself, I know what to do tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. And I was not interested, ”recalls Lotkina.

Then Vlada decided to create her ClassTag project. This is the first startup Lotkina.

How ClassTag appeared and developed

Vlada recalls how her daughter brought in a backpack from school a bunch of paper questionnaires and other notifications, the same amount came by mail or through calls. And part of the information had to be searched on the school site.

“I would like to solve a problem that I myself have encountered. According to the theory of startups, this is an important guarantee of success: you must understand and know the problem from the inside and see its solution, ”says Vlada.

This prompted Vlad to create a startup. She was helped by the father of her classmate's daughter Jason Olim. He shared Vlada’s views and also turned out to be an entrepreneur and former head of a successful company.

Together they invested several hundred thousand dollars in the project.

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What distinguished ClassTag from its competitors was that it was completely free for both teachers and parents of schoolchildren. He earns a project on advertising from different companies whose target audience is family people.

Another advantage of a startup is the ability to translate notifications into almost 60 languages, as well as bonuses for active parents: the more they get involved in the process, the more useful stationery and other things their child's class will receive from project sponsors.

“In 2015, we started developing ClassTag, while I was still working at Dell EMC at the same time. And after three years she left the main job and began to fully engage in ClassTag, ”said Vlad.

She believes that opening a company in the United States is easier than in Ukraine. Firstly, in her opinion, in the USA you are closer to investment capital and successful entrepreneurs whose experience can be used.

Secondly, according to Vlad, in countries like Ukraine it is difficult to find people who will support the project at an early stage before you start making money.

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