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Industry Education
Founded 2014
  • Max Ventilla (CEO)
  • Bharat Mediratta (CTO)
Headquarters San Francisco, United States
Area served
United States
Key people
  • Coddy Johnson (COO)

AltSchool is an educational startup, founded in 2014.[1]


AltSchool's founder and CEO, Max Ventilla, left his previous career at Google in 2013.[2] He wanted to work in education and in 2014 raised $33M of venture capital funding to start AltSchool. The Series A financing was led by Founders Fund and Andreessen Horowitz, with follow-on investment from First Round Capital and Harrison Metal and participation from John Doerr, Jonathan Sackler, Learn Capital, and Omidyar Network.[1]

Series B[edit]

In 2015, AltSchool raised a $100M Series B round of funding. The round was led by Founders Fund and Andreessen Horowitz , with Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan also participating through their Silicon Valley Community Foundation.[3][4]

In 2016, the company hired Coddy Johnson, former executive of video game company Activision.[5] In October 2016, Berthold Academy in Reston, the Greene School in West Palm Beach, and Temple Beth Sholom in Miami Beach partnered with AltSchool.[6]


The company has created a series of micro schools that focus on personalized learning, where children are involved in setting the projects they work on.[7] Students and teachers create individual "playlists" of tasks and projects for each student. Their progress is streamed to parents using a portal app.[8] By 2016, six schools had been opened in San Francisco, Palo Alto and Brooklyn.[9][10]In October 2017, AltSchool launched tiny private middle schools in Union Square.[11] In November 2017, Altschool shut down two schools, stating ". . .there was a more effective and efficient approach to achieving our ambition of enabling all children to reach their full potential." [12] Said approach is focusing on the four "core" schools: two locations in San Francisco and two more in Brooklyn.[13]

Software platform[edit]

AltSchool aims to create a software platform that both private and public schools can use to provide personalized learning in their classrooms. Teachers create "cards", which outline all the steps for an assignment. Students then fill out and submit them back to their teachers for approval. The platform, currently under development, includes both pedagogical and school management features.[4]


  1. ^ a b Leena Rao (March 18, 2014). "Former Googler's AltSchool Raises $33M From Founders Fund And A16Z To Reimagine Primary Education".
  2. ^ "Silicon Valley billionaires created AltSchool" (YouTube Video). Tech Insider. 11 May 2017. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  3. ^ "With $100 Million From Silicon Valley Elite, AltSchool Takes New Approach To Classroom Learning". Forbes. May 4, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Mark Zuckerberg Joins AltSchool's Backers". Fast Company. May 4, 2016.
  5. ^ Mary Jo Madda (April 21, 2016). "AltSchool Pulls New COO From 'Call of Duty' Video Game Company". EdSurge.
  6. ^ "Three schools partner with AltSchool". SFGate. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  7. ^ Hope King (March 20, 2016). "A morning at the AltSchool, an education startup that Silicon Valley is crazy about". CNN.
  8. ^ Adam Lashinsky (March 7, 2016). "How AltSchool Experiments in Education". Fortune.
  9. ^ Rebecca Mead (March 7, 2016). "Learn Different: Silicon Valley disrupts education". New Yorker.
  10. ^ Gina Bellafante (December 4, 2015). "The Bold Idea Behind a Small Brooklyn School". New York Times.
  11. ^ Brody, Leslie (2017-10-11). "California Startup Opens Alternative Lab School in Manhattan". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
  12. ^ Kadvany, Elena. "AltSchool Palo Alto to close at end of year". Palo Alto Online. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  13. ^ "A grade school backed by Mark Zuckerberg and Peter Thiel is closing another outpost in New York City". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-11-04.