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Declara logo.png
Type of businessPrivate
Type of site
Personalized learning platform
Founder(s)Ramona Pierson and Nelson Gonzalez
CEORamona Pierson
LaunchedFebruary 2012; 6 years ago (2012-02)
Current statusActive

Declara is a personal learning technology company based in Palo Alto, Calif. Declara's online social learning platform learns how users interact through the use of semantic search, machine learning algorithms, and recommendations to deliver personalized suggestions on potential collaborators and resources for projects.[1]


The core of Declara's technology is its platform, called the CognitiveGraph, which analyses and observes how users interact with data — including searches, Tweets, posts, blogs, videos, likes, recommendations, messages, and web content — to create a personalized, cognitive learning map based on a user's data, history, and interests. Declara's customers include governments, companies, educational institutions, and research organizations that use its platform that links everyone in a company or organization to collaborate, learn, and solve problems.[2]


Declara was founded in 2012 by Chief Executive Officer Ramona Pierson and Chief Strategy Officer Nelson Gonzalez.

The inspiration for Declara, Pierson has said, came from her recovery from a 1984 car accident that tore apart her body and put her in a coma for 18 months.[3] When Pierson awoke, she was blind and was forced to relearn how to walk, breathe, and even smile. She regained partial sight in her left eye after a successful corneal transplant operation. The process of having to relearn such basic skills for her highlighted the importance of being a lifelong learner, which ultimately led to her co-founding Declara.[4]

Nelson and Pierson started a company that has been described as building a software simulation of Pierson's mind.[5] With the help of algorithms developed by Pierson and others, including engineers from Google and Microsoft, Declara's system learns how people interact, what types of questions they're looking to answer, and who can provide the best answers.

Declara secured $5 million in early investments,[5] which included the backing of Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal.[6] In April 2014, Declara raised $16 million in Series A funding, led by GSV Capital, with participation from Data Collective, Founders Fund, and Catamount Ventures.[7] In June 2014, the company secured $9 million in funding from Linden Venture Fund and EDBI, bringing its total Series A funding to $25 million. At the same time, Declara announced its expansion into Singapore.[8]


Education Services Australia (ESA), a national, not-for-profit company owned by Australian education ministers, began using the Declara platform in 2013.[9]

In April 2014, Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educatión (SNTE), the largest teachers' union in Mexico and Latin America, selected Declara as the technology platform for professional development of its 1.6 million teachers and administrators.[10]

Declara's customers include Genentech and The University of Pennsylvania in the United States; Bécalos, an organization of Mexico's Televisa Foundation; and Tu clase, tu país in Chile.


Pierson was named to the Business Insider’s Silicon Valley 100: The Coolest People in Tech Right Now in March 2014.[11]

Lead 411 named Declara 2014 Hottest Silicon Valley Companies in July 2014.[12]


  1. ^ "Declara". CrunchBase. June 11, 2014.
  2. ^ Christina Quattrocchi (2014-06-11). "Declara Closes $25M Series A, With Sights on US PD Market". Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  3. ^ Bruce Newman (2013-12-25). "Ramona Pierson's remarkable tale: From near-death to Silicon Valley CEO". Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  4. ^ Chris O’Brien (2013-03-30). "Declara CEO Ramona Pierson made tragedy a learning experience". Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  5. ^ a b Ashlee Vance (2013-09-26). "Declara Co-Founder Ramona Pierson's Comeback Odyssey". Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  6. ^ Deirdre Bolton (2014-05-01). "Education meets big data and social media". Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  7. ^ Dan Primack (2014-04-23). "Deals of the day: Pure Storage raises $225 million". Retrieved 2014-08-26.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Catherine Shu (2014-06-11). "Learning Platform Declara Raises $9M, Sets Sights On Asia". Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  9. ^ Nelson Gonzales (2014-04-17). "Declara Shares PD Lessons From Around The World". Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  10. ^ Kia Kokalitcheva (2014-04-23). "Declara's social enterprise network is making teams smarter — and now it's $16M richer". Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  11. ^ Megan Rose Dickey and Jillian D’Onfro (2014-03-07). "THE SILICON VALLEY 100: The Coolest People In Tech Right Now". Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  12. ^ "2014 Hottest Silicon Valley Companies". 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2014-08-26. External link in |publisher= (help)

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