Knowledgehook, the Kitchener-based maker of math software that uses real-time classroom data to help teachers improve student learning, announced Wednesday it has raised CDN$1.25 million in seed financing.

The round, led by Sayan Navaratnam of Aadya Capital, will eventually help fund Knowledgehook’s expansion into the U.K. and Australia. Also backing the round is AOL co-founder Steve Case and Boston Scientific co-founder John Abele.

“It’s a good Christmas,” said Knowledgehook CEO and co-founder Travis Ratnam. “We worked very long and hard as a team. With things like this you don’t know until it’s certain what the outcome will be and it worked out really well for us. We’re excited for our next chapter.”

Knowledgehook’s software is widely used in schools across Ontario and in more than 300 school districts in the United States. It helps identify the concepts with which students are struggling and suggests how teachers can support them, all of it in real time.

The company, which was part of the second cohort of Communitech’s Rev accelerator program, was named Business News Network’s Top Disruptor earlier this year and last May was the winner of Google’s Game Changer Award. Case was one of the three judges at that event. Knowledgehook, which now has nine employees, was founded in 2014.

Knowledgehook joins Aterlo Networks, Bridgit and Dozr as companies that have disclosed investment rounds since taking part in the Rev program. Aterlo Networks, whose technology eases access to high-definition video over broadband networks, raised CDN$1 million last March. Bridgit, which created an app that simplifies construction management, raised CDN$2.2 million last April. And Dozr, a platform for heavy equipment rental, raised CDN$2.5 million in late September.

“Rev played a huge component in this whole thing,” said Ratnam. “We would not be here without Communitech and the support that they gave us. We’re just a huge beneficiary of their help, and other companies in the area.

“I’m looking forward to the days when I can turn around and help companies and return the favour. That’s the culture of Communitech and I’m extremely grateful to be part of that family.”

Ratnam said he was introduced to Navaratnam through a mutual friend. “The more we talked, it was clear he thought our idea was impressive and he decided to come in and help take this to a next level. We’re very, very fortunate.”

Navaratnam is additionally the CEO of Connex Telecommunications, based in Richmond Hill, Ont.

“Knowledgehook has a novel solution to a global problem,” said Navaratnam in a news release. “I believe this technology will be defining for the edtech space, paving the way for how a data-driven approach to teaching can help kids all over the world do better in math.”


About The Author

Craig Daniels
Senior Journalist

Craig Daniels is a veteran reporter, columnist and editor who has joined Communitech’s editorial team as senior journalist. He worked most recently at Postmedia in Hamilton, where he led the team that produced the National Post, and before that at the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Sun, Financial Post, the Montreal Daily News and the Telegraph-Journal in Saint John, N.B. He has an abiding interest in the transformational power and promise of tech and startup ecosystems, is a commercially licensed pilot, and has a debilitating wrist-watch fetish.