EverTrue, the education fundraising and mobile alumni networking platform, is showing today that it's not familiar with this "Series A Crunch" you speak of -- in the education technology market or otherwise. The Boston-based startup announced today that it has closed a $5.25 million series A funding round, led by Bain Capital Ventures. The round also included participation from its existing investors, including Boston Seed Capital, TechStars CEO David Cohen, Bonobos CEO Andy Dunn and Trunk Club CEO Brian Spaly. As a new investor, Bain Capital joins EverTrue's roster of higher education angel investors, like Harvard Corporation Member Paul Finnegan, Brown University Trustee Sam Mencoff, Northwestern University Trustee Tim Sullivan, University of Pennsylvania Overseer Jim Perry and Georgetown Regent Brendan Carroll, to name a few. The series A financing follows the $1.3 million seed round EverTrue raised in the fall of 2011 after graduating from TechStars, bringing its total capital to $6.5 million. Founded by Brent Grinna in 2010 while at Harvard Business School, the MassChallenge winner has been on a mission to help schools improve the quality of their beleaguered alumni networking platforms by bringing mobile into the equation. Built on top of LinkedIn's API in partnership with the company's "Higher Education" team, EverTrue's mobile alumni networking app aims to help schools better track and engage alumni and potential donors. Now in use at over 100 prep schools and colleges across six countries, the startup plans to use its new capital to build additional products which leverage data to support fundraising both in education and other non-profit verticals, Grinna tells us. Traditionally, these public and non-profit institutions have struggled mightily to effectively track and engage alumni and, really, to build the kind of long-term relationships that lead to more active community involvement and donations. Without access to accurate data, the EverTrue founder says, schools find themselves unable to support any kind of substantive career networking or fundraising. So, EverTrue endeavors to help schools bring visual data analytics, social applications and mobile networking to their fundraising teams to help them more effectively target and solicit donations, while boosting alumni support for current students and recent grads as they enter the workforce. Grinna tells us that EverTrue's monetization structure is based on the traditional SaaS model and that the startup's "recurring revenue base has grown consistently" as its added new accounts, including what he says are 10 of the top 20 prep schools, like Andover and St. Paul's, and colleges like Amherst and Union. In terms of the landscape ahead for EverTrue, Grinna says that he's been seeing a lot of consolidation in the market over the last two years, like Blackbaud's acquisition of Convio, SunGard Higher Ed's merger with Datatel and Sage Plc's sale of its non-profit business to Accel-KKR acting as recent examples. "The EverTrue platform sits as a layer on top of those systems," he says, "most of which are still on-premise." That is where the founder believes his startup stands to have a leg-up on the competition. As companies like Salesforce begin "aggressively moving into the non-profit sector," EverTrue will look to these companies as potential strategic partners and will "likely join AppExchange later this year," he says. "Going forward, we want to build enterprise-focused products that leverage social data to power fundraising analytics and improve donor segmentation," he explains. "Imagine a business intelligence layer for fundraising." For more on EverTrue, find the startup at home here.
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