Announcements / Feb 18, 2020

ClassTag’s 5th Anniversary

Copy Of Classtag's 5th Anniversary

Here Is Why ‘Make it happen’ Is More Than a Tagline…

Today marks the 5th anniversary of ClassTag’s incorporation. What happened between then and now is a true testament to our ‘make it happen’ spirit: the commitment, talent, drive and resilience of ClassTag’s early believers, our team, teachers and parents (some of whom joined the team). 

Hundreds of times throughout the journey, I was met with surprised looks, naysayers or people who would straight out call us crazy. The ‘crazy’ label will never go away completely as long as we challenge the status quo to bring radically better and innovative solutions to our teachers and parents. So today I found the courage to share the crazy ride we’ve been on and celebrate all of you: 

  • 25,000 schools relying on ClassTag to build stronger communities and engage all parents in their child’s education
  • Innovative and savvy brand partners, sponsoring the platform and give back to the classrooms
  • Our forward-looking and bold investors who entrusted us ~$7M as of today’s funding announcement 
  • My amazing co-founder and CTO and our fearless team, 34 people strong headquartered in NYC, spanning all continents and speaking 10 languages!

2015 – How It All Started – 100% on a crazy idea scale

It was a few months into my daughter’s Pre-K class that I started to feel unable to keep up with the school updates. Her amazing teachers were trying really hard and yet I felt completely at loss between hand-written notes, signup sheets on the doors, emails, text messaging solution, school website and a directory on a google sheet… I knew that my personal journey from Ukraine to a successful career in New York has been driven by a great education and amazing support from parents, but I didn’t know how to help my daughter have that.

I surveyed parents in my daughter’s class to see if they share the same problem and among other responses, heard back from my CTO and co-founder whose son was in the same class. Magic happened! We drew up the first version on a napkin and teamed up to help parents and teachers become partners in kids’ education.

Why 100% on a crazy idea scale?

What people said: There a number of solutions out there for communication and schools have very long sales cycles and limited budgets.

Our ‘make it happen’ spirit: We will build the best in class solution to simplify and combine the tools under one roof and… do so with a free platform!

2016 – Launching ClassTag – 90% on crazy idea scale

Iste Denver 2016

It was ISTE 2016 conference in Denver where we decided to launch ClassTag. With a few amazing educators and passionate early adopters we were excited to present ClassTag to the world. It was thrilling and overwhelming to bring something you have imagined and gain limitless feedback from over 2K educators we have spoken to.

ClassTag 2016

The first version of ClassTag

Why 90% on a crazy idea scale?

What people said: Congratulations! You built something people want, now you need to make it into something they truly need.

While we solved the coordination challenge with delightful and effective parent-teacher conference scheduling, signups, events and smart automated reminders, we failed to realize that there is a more fundamental problem – reaching all parents across language and technology barriers as the foundation for effective parent engagement.

Our ‘make it happen’ spirit: We know what to do next! We will enable teachers to reach ALL parents with one click regardless of their preferred method of communication or language. Ready for the next challenge!

2017 – Imagining 100% Reach – 80% on crazy idea scale

In 2017 it worked, we managed to pull off something that has not been done – deliver a truly multi-channel and multilingual communication platform. ClassTag has become a multichannel communication suite that allows teachers and administrators to reach parents via the Web, mobile apps, SMS messages and, now, printed messages. If a student’s family is not reached via digital channels, ClassTag’s assistant will now recommend printing out class announcements, schedules and reminders to be sent home with the student. All of the communications including print outs are automatically translated into 55+ languages from the moment the parents are added to the system so they are welcomed in their language right away. 

Why 80% on a crazy idea scale?

What people said: Wow! You built something that will become the critical everyday application for our school. Investors were not as forthcoming: “you seem to have solved a real pain point, but it is not clear yet that you can build a business and scale it.

Our ‘make it happen’ spirit: We will figure out a way to leverage commerce and brands to sponsor the platform and give back to support teachers. A lot of surprised looks! 

2018 – Launching Rewards & Give Back for Teachers – 70% on crazy idea scale

Copy Of Classtag Pt Con Video

Just in time for back to school, we announced “Rewards”. It is the first and only program that rewards teachers with free supplies and special discounts based on the engagement from parents. Not only we announced it, but we secured $3M worth of value for teachers. I still can’t believe we pulled it off, getting major companies to join us in supporting teachers. So happy!

Why 70% on a crazy idea scale?

What people said: What a crazy idea, it might just work! 🙂 And we raised our first funding round!

Our ‘make it happen’ spirit: We gave all classrooms a choice to participate in Rewards and be sponsored and it did work! We received overwhelming support from our amazing teachers and parents.

2019 – 2MM users + 25,000 Schools Prove it All – 60% on crazy idea scale

20190624 174503 (2)

Word of mouth and real impact stories went far and wide and fueled our 5x growth! We are thrilled and humbled to support 2MM parents and teachers this school year. Thanks to your feedback, ideas and insights we continue to improve ClassTag every day. Thank you!

Why 60% on a crazy idea scale?

What people said: Teachers, school leaders and parents alike ask for more from ClassTag: helping their whole schools and districts build stronger parent engagement, supporting classrooms with more supplies and continuing to improve the core capabilities with even smarter features.

Our ‘make it happen’ spirit: It is coming! With nearly $7M funding, including the new financing of $3.6M from a group of investors including Contour Ventures, Founder Collective, John Martinson, Newark Venture Partners, Smart Hub, and TMT Investments we are ready to delight and excite our users and help them make it happen.

ClassTag was created to help parents and teachers make it happen, engaging all parents with their kids’ education, activities and community. We know that when parents are partners in their kids’ education, we all win. The kids do better, the parents are happier, and teachers’ job is made a little easier.

Thank you for being a part of this story—the reason for our being—and for writing this book with us. Can’t wait for what’s next!

– Vlada Lotkina, Co-Founder & CEO

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