On The Way To An IPO, Education Technology Startup Instructure Is Close To Raising A Big New Round

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Education technology company Instructure has raised a big new round on its way to an initial public offering later this year, according to several sources familiar with the company’s plans.

We’ve heard rumors from multiple sources that the cloud-based K-12 and higher education platform is raising between $50 to $70 million in Series E funding, while one source put the low end of the range at over $40 million.

The maker of the Canvas learning management system and the Canvas network MOOC platform has taken on the online education tech giant Blackboard since its launch in 2011. Both Blackboard and Canvas offer online educational platforms for the scholastic set.

Blackboard, which launched in 1997, still claims to have the corner on the virtual learning market serving just over half – or more than 12,300 – of all American K-12 schools and 1,900 international institutions on the platform. While in the three years since Instructure launched Canvas the company has managed to win over 2 million students and teachers and 930 institutions worldwide, according to data from CrunchBase.

Just as Instructure has moved to tackle Blackboard in the classroom, the company is now planning to take on its goliath of a competitor in the boardroom as well. Blackboard generates a lot of cash from its enterprise learning for corporations and Instructure is using its new round of funding to launch a competing corporate learning platform called Bridge.

It’s likely that Insight Venture Partners is a new investor in this round. Several sources tell us Bessemer Venture Partners and Epic Ventures are also a part of this round. Bessemer helped fund the education tech startup in the last round. It would be odd for Epic Ventures not to be in on this round as well, since it has been in every round of funding since Instructure’s Series A.

We’ve reached out to Instructure for this piece but leadership there has declined to comment.