The Graide Network Raises Seed Round to Improve Student Writing

The company will use the funding to accelerate the development of its feedback and grading technology and expand access for students across the country to benefit from timely, personalized feedback.

Chicago, IL – The Graide Network, Inc. announced today it has raised over $1 million in a Series Seed financing led by Chicago-based Network Ventures. The Graide Network will use the funding to scale its growth into more schools and to accelerate the development of its feedback and grading technology.


Only 27% of high school seniors in the U.S. can write at a proficient level, according to the most recent Nation’s Report Card. The Graide Network directly supports the development of K-12 students’ writing and critical thinking skills through its on-demand network of remote teaching assistants known as “Graiders.” Graiders are undergraduate and graduate students who are aspiring educators, writing tutors, and other subject area specialists. They collaborate virtually with K-12 classroom teachers to grade and provide feedback on formative writing assignments - anytime, anywhere.

Research shows that feedback has a leading influence on learning, yet it is prohibitively time-consuming for teachers to provide on a consistent basis and limits the frequency of written work. By creating a first-of-its-kind platform for human feedback, The Graide Network provides schools with ready access to a superior feedback model. Teachers can assign more writing opportunities for students with the confidence that students will receive the targeted and timely feedback necessary for learning.

“Every student needs and deserves great feedback to learn,” said co-founder and CEO Blair Pircon. “This funding allows us to make high-quality, timely feedback a reality for students, boost capacity for teachers, and open up an amazing new talent pool for school leaders.”

“The Graide Network allows teachers to do more,” noted co-founder and COO Liz Nell. “Like the host of staff who aide physicians or lawyers, educators as highly skilled professionals deserve a structure that supports them, too. With the addition of a Graider, every student benefits from more writing, more feedback, and more one-on-one support. Plus, we’re giving teachers more time and more data to guide their instructional practice.”

Now in its second school year, The Graide Network is serving nearly 20,000 students at over 50 schools. The offering has proven to be highly engaging and motivating to students, with 97% of students wanting to continue receiving personalized feedback from a Graider. Meanwhile, teachers gain up to a 35% increase in capacity, spending less time processing and more time analyzing results, planning engaging lessons, and conferencing with students.

“The Graide Network’s technology allows schools to tap into a pool of highly qualified Graiders that schools otherwise wouldn’t be able to access on their own,” said Jeff Maters, Managing Director of Network Ventures.  “This round of funding will enable The Graide Network to continue to build out its feedback platform in order to achieve its mission of making students better writers and improving learning outcomes.”

About The Graide Network

The Graide Network is building better writers through its online platform of feedback and grading support to K-12 schools. With an award-winning, innovative model, The Graide Network provides on-demand, formative feedback on student writing via remote teaching assistants. The support of “Graiders” unlocks the tremendous power of feedback to improve learning outcomes and puts relevant data at educators’ fingertips like never before. Learn more about how The Graide Network works with schools.