jonathan hefter

Neverware Raises $1M To Keep Schools’ Computers Quick Like Lightning

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There is no sadder moment than the one where you realize it’s time to upgrade your computer. The load times are too slow, the battery no longer holds a charge, and it’s just too damn heavy. Now, imagine a school with dozens of outdated computers, and think just how bad that moment of realization can really be.

Neverware, a company based out of NY, is aiming to change all that with a turnkey solution that automatically boosts performance of old computers for a low monthly fee. Obviously, demand for this type of service is high, especially in the education industry, which is why Neverware has just closed a $1 million round from investors that include Thrive Capital, Khosla Ventures, General Catalyst, Collaborative Fund, and Nihal Mehta.

Founder Jonathan Hefter started Neverware back in 2011 and launched in January 2013 with around $600K in seed funding. Since then, the company has been working to evangelize the product to NYC schools, and the response has been great. According to Hefter, Neverware’s latest seed round is somewhat of an emergency raise, considering that the demand from schools is much higher than expected.

Hefter explained that they expected to sign on with between five and seven schools for the first semester, starting in January. However, they’ve blown way past that number and seen around 3x the customer sign-ups. According to Neverware, most of the new seed round will go toward smart engineering hires, as Hefter looks to double the seven-man team with more employees who care about what Neverware is doing.

Neverware works by setting up a Juicebox 100 in the schools. That piece of hardware integrates with the school’s network to bring automation and intelligence to the system. The Neverware virtualization technology then boosts performance to each computer, giving kids the access they need to actually get things done.

Schools pay an adjustable fee per month, per computer, and the Juicebox comes free.

“There is a huge challenge in deploying software on appliances across a wide variety of networks that we do not control,” said Hefter. “In order to be a reliable solution, we engineer an incredible amount of intelligence and automation into our system that allows it to function in many types of network environments that schools might have and recover from a wide range of network-related issues, without any associated downtime. These are engineering challenges that you simply don’t face when you’re running a website on uniform Amazon instances in the cloud.”

For now, Neverware is focused on expanding within the greater New York area, and will eventually expand beyond that into new regions.