Amy Jenkins leaving her post at Outschool, a marketplace for online classes for kids, when the company decided to focus more on consumers and less on businesses – a change that includes lots of layoffs at education unicorn is backed by wealth.
Currently, Jenkins is the COO of Meadow, a platform that aims to make it easier for college students to pay their tuition and help universities comply with financial transparency requirements. Meadow recently announced that it had raised $3.5 million in venture funding — a funding round that Jenkins said, to her surprise, came together pretty quickly within six weeks. . Plus, the round was three times larger than the founding team’s original goal.
Part of a startup’s triumph may lie in shaping its vision beyond traditional educational technology.
“I think many of our investors will see us as an edtech company operating in the higher education sector and that there is an incredible opportunity there to look at,” says Jenkins. “When students enter college, they are really in the early stages of financial life. And we can support them and prepare them from the start.” The company’s initial products help students better calculate the cost of college, balancing various factors like housing and financial aid.
Jenkins says that being a hybrid between edtech and fintech has helped attract investors. Many of Meadow’s investors cut checks in the fintech space, “but also have an impact on consumers and society – so we can hit all of those topics for these investors on the potential to work is high in this fintech space but really has a consumer lens because we are thinking very deeply about what students need.”
Meadow is not alone in balancing the two as a competitive edge in fundraising: Companies that once specialized in crypto are shifting to a more fintech focus, and some health technology companies are relying on well-known financial instruments like a wrecker. “Every company is a fintech company” is a popular adage, but in today’s environment the reasoning behind that change may revolve around survival and salvation rather than chance.