Prolific investor and billionaire Mark Cuban is leading a $US500,000 seed round in Kim Taylor’s online education startup Ranku.
Taylor was a co-star on Bravo’s Start-Ups: Silicon Valley reality TV show last fall, which got canceled after the first season.
Back in June, Taylor and her team from Ranku joined the inaugural class of the Kaplan EdTech accelerator, sponsored by TechStars.
The program culminates this Wednesday with “Demo Day,” where each startup will present in front of an audience of investors.
Ranku aims to make it dead-simple for curious, knowledge-seeking individuals to find the best online degree program from top-notch universities.
For Ranku, the “best” school isn’t necessarily the one with the highest graduation rate. Instead, the best schools in Ranku’s lists are the ones that give students great job outcomes.
But what’s really impressive about Ranku is that it actually landed the $US500,000 round before Demo Day. Generally speaking, a startup may land a deal on or after demo day, or not at all. And when your business is already cash flow positive after launching just three months ago, it may not even be necessary to raise money.
But when Cuban approached Taylor, she couldn’t help but pitch him, Taylor tells Business Insider. That’s because of Cuban’s vast experience and expertise in the education tech space.
He’s invested in a number of education startups, and he understands the industry really well, Taylor says. So both now and down the road, Taylor sees Cuban as a great strategic partner to have on board.
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