Omidyar Network Joins $5.4M Series A for Tinkergarten

8/8/17

Tinkergarten, the leading provider of outdoor early childhood education, today announced that it has raised a $5.4 million Series A round of financing led by Owl Ventures, with additional investment from existing investors Omidyar Network and Reach Capital. This round brings the total capital raised by the company to $8.3m, with early support from Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, Blue {Seed} Collective, City Light Capital, Plum Alley, 500 Startups, Outbound Ventures, Structure Capital, Vista Venture Partners as well as John Katzman(Princeton Review, 2U, Noodle), Don Katz (Audible), Matt Glickman (BabyCenter), and Albert Lee(MyFitnessPal), among others.

With the new funding, Tinkergarten plans to invest in its supporting technology, further enhance the learning experiences of young children and their parents, and help recruit more leaders to bring this unique, outdoor, play-based learning model to an even more diverse range of families.

"We are thrilled to welcome Owl Ventures to our top quality, mission-aligned team of investors to help us catapult growth and continue to bring accessible, affordable early childhood education to urban, suburban and rural communities nationwide. Their unique experience in helping to build successful education technology and consumer product companies is an ideal fit to fuel our next stage of expansion," said Brian Fitzgerald, co-founder and CEO of Tinkergarten.

Tinkergarten has developed a technology platform to find, vet, train, and support its many leaders who run play-based outdoor learning classes. Tinkergarten has experienced significant growth since 2016, expanding from 100 leaders in 14 states to over 700 leaders in 48 US states today. Tinkergarten's unique model of training, equipping and supporting a local leader to run early learning classes has demonstrated scalability, while its year-round, outdoor class model provides quality, play-based learning to young children across the US.

"Two things excited us most about Tinkergarten—its scalable model that has delivered exceptional early childhood education even amidst rapid growth, and the caliber of its team to take this model to the next level," said Amit Patel, partner at Owl Ventures and new board member of Tinkergarten.

"Tinkergarten is emerging as a leader in early learning, through a flexible workforce approach and a quality outdoor learning solution for children and families with broad appeal in communities across the US," said Isabelle Hau, US Education lead at Omidyar Network and Tinkergarten Board member.

For more information about Tinkergarten, please visit:https://tinkergarten.com.

About Tinkergarten

Tinkergarten® brings high quality early childhood education to a park near you. We believe that the richest learning environment is outdoors, and independent exploration and well-designed play-based activities are the keys to developing a host of important capabilities, including self reliance, creativity, persistence and grit, and problem solving. Our expert-designed curriculum helps kids ages 1-8 years old develop, grow and better prepare, while they enjoy fun, engaging experiences in the physical freedom of their local green space. Tinkergarten classes are led by trained, certified leaders, often parents, who bring a healthy, social, and engaging learning experience to their community. Tinkergarten is rapidly expanding nationally, with classes now offered in over 700 locations across 48 states. Anyone can nominate a leader and bring Tinkergarten to their community. Tinkergarten is making high quality early childhood accessible to all. To learn more, visit http://www.tinkergarten.com, and follow @tinkergarten.

About Owl Ventures

Owl Ventures is a venture capital fund that invests in the world's leading education technology companies. We back entrepreneurs with solutions that seek to meaningfully drive improvement in student achievement. We are laser-focused on the education market and take a hands-on approach in helping entrepreneurs scale their businesses into transformative category leading companies. http://www.OwlVC.com

About Omidyar Network

Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change. Omidyar Network has committed more than $1 billion to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple initiatives, including Education, Emerging Tech, Financial Inclusion, Governance & Citizen Engagement, and Property Rights. To learn more, visit http://www.omidyar.com, and follow on Twitter @omidyarnetwork #PositiveReturns

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