Large Market and Company Traction Drive Funding
March 10, 2105 - Charlotte, NC – Early stage investment group Charlotte Angel Fund announced today a $50,000 investment in Upswing, an online tutoring and data analytics company focused on decreasing student attrition. This investment was a part of the Company’s $500,000 convertible note offering. This is the Fund’s first investment since it formed in late December, 2013.
Upswing was an attractive investment due to the enormity of the student attrition problem which they are addressing, size and growth of the online tutoring market, the company’s market traction and strong management team. According to the U.S. Department of Education, community colleges across the nation experience a 75% attrition rate (41% for 4-year colleges) and over 60% of community college students are in remedial courses. In total attrition cost colleges and universities close to $16.5 billion in lost revenue in the 2010-2011 academic years, according to a 2013 Education Policy Institute study.
Upswing has made tremendous strides since its inception in 2013. In 2014 revenue took hold with a 250% increase in clients and 26,000 new student and tutor users. Upswing is now the second largest online tutoring provider in North Carolina, with 10% market share across the state and 55,000 students on its platform across seven community colleges. To date, 97% of students who use Upswing have rated their sessions a perfect five stars. New colleges have taken note of these results, with half of all of Upswing's clients being colleges who switched from using another solution provider.
In addition to funding from Charlotte Angel Fund, Upswing has received grants from the prestigious NC IDEA Fund, Tech Wildcatters and United Way of Dallas, and closed its convertible note round.
Another factor in the Fund’s investment selection was Upswing’s strong management team. “Melvin Hines brings passion, focus and a strong background in business and law,” stated Greg Brown, the Fund’s Administrator. “He leads a strong team of co-founders who have demonstrated the type of commitment, talent and vision that we look for in entrepreneurs.”
Upswing currently has seven employees and expects further build out of the team as it doubles the number of students served by the end of 2015.
About Charlotte Angel FUND
Charlotte Angel Fund was formed to invest in high growth, early stage startups in the Charlotte region and across the Carolinas. It is a committed capital group, meaning that members of the Fund have pooled capital for investment in these opportunities. Monthly meetings are held where new opportunities are presented to the members for their review. The fund remains open to new members. For more information, contact Greg Brown at gbrown@CLTAngelFund.com or 980-307-0754.