EverTrue Lands $5.25M to Build Out Alumni-Relations Mobile Tech
Anyone making it through the Series A crunch these days?
EverTrue is. The Boston-based alumni-networking software startup has raised $5.25 million in Series A funding led by Bain Capital Ventures, with participation from previous investors Boston Seed Capital, TechStars’ David Cohen, Andy Dunn, and Brian Spaly. Bain Capital Ventures has been busy lately, bringing on a slew of new partners and announcing new investments in AppNeta and Persado.
One of the big problems EverTrue is trying to solve for colleges and prep schools is alumni fundraising. As founder and CEO Brent Grinna says, U.S. educational institutions raise $40 billion a year “in spite of technology, not because of it.” Most schools still use spreadsheets full of out-of-date information on alumni addresses, dollar amounts, and so forth.
EverTrue makes a mobile app for Android and iOS devices that connects to institutions’ alumni databases but also pulls info from Facebook and LinkedIn. That means a class officer or fundraiser can figure out which people in his or her target class, for example, played football or rugby or sang in an a cappella group in school and now live in the area. Bottom line: better targeting.
“We sit at the intersection of institutional data and social data,” Grinna says. “Every company on the planet is trying to harness social data to better touch customers.”
But EverTrue is also about other kinds of networking: alumni job networking and community-building, for starters. For all of this, it has taken a mobile-first approach. “From a networking and fundraising perspective, so much of this is done on a local basis. It isn’t just sitting behind a desk,” Grinna says. “We felt, let’s start here [mobile], and if there’s ever a need to invest on the Web, we can react to that.”
Networking and community-building has played a big part in EverTrue’s rise itself. Grinna traces his own progression of contacts and mentors through the Boston ecosystem: from VC Jeff Bussgang to Where’s Walt Doyle to TechStars, MassChallenge, and a bunch of prominent angel investors, and eventually to the present day. “This is an unbelievable community for entrepreneurs trying to start something—in particular, in the education sector,” he says.
EverTrue is up to 15 full-time employees and has raised a total of $6.6 million since its founding in 2010. The company is looking to use its new money to expand its team in engineering, design, sales, and marketing. It may still have a long way to go, but it has made it through its first funding crunch.