Ocelot secures $117M investment to increase engagement between universities and students

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Student Engagement Platform Ocelot Raises Funds To Meet Growing Demand

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Ocelot, the leading edtech AI communications and student engagement platform, today announced it has raised $117 million from leading B2B software investment firm K1 Investment Management. The company was previously bootstrapped, with the K1 investment representing Ocelot’s first outside funding. Funds from the investment will be used to fuel growth, build additional functionality within existing products, and develop new solutions for colleges and universities.

Higher education is facing significant headwinds, with institutions reeling from enrollment, budget, and student retention challenges. A lack of engagement and communication is a recurring theme among these critical issues, according to both students and institutions. Ocelot gives colleges and universities a unified engagement platform that easily integrates with existing technologies to offer students, staff, professors, and administrators a seamless communication experience.

For first-generation students in particular, these issues can have a significant impact on the outcome of their college experience. According to research from EBA, 33% of first-gen students drop out within 3 years, compared to only 14% of continuing generation students. By providing technological infrastructure to higher education that empowers engagement and better communications, Ocelot is on a mission to reduce generational gaps and improve the student experience for everyone.

Talin Andonians, CEO of Ocelot, sees the investment as key to Ocelot’s mission to “make a better life more accessible” and resolve pain points for higher education institutions.

“Colleges and universities are competing with so many other daily distractions to capture students’ attention and foster their engagement in order to meet enrollment and graduation targets,” said Andonians. “Ocelot was built as a one-stop platform for higher education institutions to alleviate communication barriers. The investment from K1 will enable us to continue bridging the communication gaps between schools and their most important clientele – their students.”

Brian Beard, Vice President at K1, is excited to partner with the Ocelot team and create a category leader in the edtech industry. According to K1, over 26% of its own employees are first-generation college graduates, in keeping with Ocelot’s mission to make a better life more accessible to everyone.

“Ocelot’s platform is critical to improving student retention and enabling successful outcomes for students, colleges, and universities alike,” said Beard. “Helping both parties stay closely connected provides clarity and consistency to an otherwise complex and confusing student experience. We are excited to partner with Ocelot to support its continued growth as the company revolutionizes student engagement and communications.”

Ocelot serves nearly 500 colleges and universities in 47 states. In the last 12 months alone, Ocelot has answered over 12 million questions from users, demonstrating the sort of engagement from students that schools need.

“Communication is a huge problem for colleges and universities and an investment of this size will help Ocelot solve this problem at scale,” says Andonians. “Ocelot and K1 strongly believe in the promise of higher education to unlock better futures for our students and our country. Ocelot provides best-in-class solutions to help make that ideal a reality.”

About Ocelot
Ocelot is higher education's #1 AI Communications and Student Engagement Platform, serving 8 million students at nearly 500 institutions. The Ocelot platform combines two-way texting for student outreach, AI + live chat for student support, and an unrivaled knowledge base of content – including thousands of video explainers and text Q&As – that answered over 12 million questions in the last 12 months alone. By using Ocelot, colleges and universities can reach every student, answer every question, and ensure students and families can be guided through all aspects of the student lifecycle and address enrollment, persistence, and access challenges. Visit ocelotbot.com to learn more.

About K1
K1 is a global investment firm that builds category-leading enterprise software companies. K1 partners with strong management teams of high-growth technology businesses to help them achieve successful outcomes. With over 140 professionals, K1 and its operating affiliate, K1 Operations LLC, change industry landscapes with operationally focused growth strategies designed to rapidly scale portfolio companies. Since inception of the firm, K1 has partnered with over 200 enterprise software companies including industry leaders such as accessiBe, Atera, Checkmarx, Complysci, ControlUp, Emburse, Employ, Granicus, HR Acuity, IronScales, Onit, RethinkFirst, Reveal-Brainspace, RFPIO, simPRO, Smarsh, XTM International and Zapproved. For more information, visit k1im.com and follow on LinkedIn.

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James Paasche
Kickstand Communications
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