Baltimore, MD - Today, Allovue announced a $5.1 million Series A round of financing. Rethink Education led the investment with participation from existing and new investors, including Red House Education, Serious Change II, Kapor Capital, and Baltimore Angels. The investment brings Allovue’s total funding to $6.9 million and will help the company expand its customer success and leadership teams, as well as accelerate product development. Rethink Education Managing Partner Matt Greenfield and Red House Education Managing Director Steve Kupfer will join Allovue’s Board of Directors.
Allovue launched Balance, their financial analysis platform for K-12 public school districts, this spring and saw rapid adoption in districts across the country, including New Haven Public Schools, Indianapolis Public Schools, Pueblo District 70 in Colorado, and Santa Ana Unified School District. Balance helps districts streamline budgets, vendor transactions, general ledger balances, and other accounting data into a single dashboard. Additionally, education leaders can analyze spending in the context of non-financial metrics, such as attendance rates, student achievement data, and demographic data.
“Effective resource allocation means optimizing limited resources (money, materials, people, time) for the greatest possible outcome. In the case of education, ideally the ‘outcome’ is increased student achievement,” said Allovue CEO Jess Gartner. “At Allovue, we believe student success is the bottom line, which means that every dollar must connect to student achievement. We’re building the tools and providing the training to help make those decisions more data-driven, evidence-based, and easy to understand.”
“One of the things I love about the Allovue team is that they have such a clearly defined mission: they all urgently want to help schools make better spending decisions,” said Matt Greenfield, Managing Partner of Rethink Education. “It is a visceral thing for them: the thought of money being squandered or misallocated nauseates them. And they are hyper-energized by the thought that their tools are going to free up tens of billions of dollars for teaching and learning. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with the Allovue team, which is solving a huge problem that affects every school in the United States.”
New Haven Public Schools in Connecticut was one of Allovue’s first district customers. “We were looking for a way to make our financial information readily available and easily understandable to our school leaders. Allovue made a lot of sense for New Haven Public Schools because their interface is much more user-friendly and intuitive than anything our [finance] system could do out of the box,” said CFO Victor De La Paz. “What every CFO wants is a partner that is going to deliver on their promise, but in a responsive way that honors the local context. The Allovue team are not only experts at what they do, but they take the time to learn about your district’s backdrop. They respond in almost real-time to how Balance can work with your system. That kind of service level is often the difference between a successful implementation and a nightmare investment.”
“Allovue’s offering is well-timed, as school districts nationwide confront rising costs, unpredictable revenues, and critical legislative spending requirements,” said Steve Kupfer, Managing Director of Red House Education. “Balance has already proven effective at changing user behavior and we feel strongly that the product has only scratched the surface of possibilities to optimize resources for student outcomes.”
Allovue recently partnered with Pivot Learning Partners in Oakland, CA, as part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Smarter School Spending initiative, to assist districts with allocations of Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) funds and Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAP). Allovue also partners with Education Resource Strategies in Boston to help districts launch school autonomy models, including Student-Based Budgeting.
The Allovue team, based in Baltimore, MD, is rapidly expanding. They currently have 10 employees, and are projecting an additional 35 hires in 2016. “One of the defining characteristics of the Allovue team is empathy,” said Greenfield. “They have a deep understanding of the school and district leaders whom they serve. And that is why they build products that get used and that produce results that matter.” The company has plans to expand their presence nationally, with new offices in Denver and the Bay Area on the horizon.
Photo: (L–R) Jason Becker, Ted O’Meara, Jess Gartner, Jake Mauer, Rosalyn Curato; photo by Sean Scheidt