AZTC member Parchment Inc. is hosting with Tallwave, Weiss Brown and Silicon Valley Bank the February After5 networking event on Wednesday, February 29 at Tech Ventures at the Forum in Scottsdale. Parchment recently announced it has raised six million dollars from Salmon River Capital to expand its credentials data venture. This post is written by Parchment Inc.’s Chief Executive Officer, Matt Pittinsky.
Just one year after landing in Arizona, Parchment Inc. has doubled our staff and more than doubled the venture capital investment that fuels our growth as a leader in the burgeoning education credentials data exchange and analysis field.
Some of our success may be attributed to the fact that Arizona and Parchment are at the intersection of three important trends: the modernization of America’s education infrastructure, the ability to mine data to improve individual and institutional performance, and the advantages of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) as a business and technology model.
Venture investors have a keen eye on the education market. And Arizona is quickly becoming an industry cluster for education ventures. As the second largest industry in the U.S. after healthcare in terms of GDP, education is under enormous pressure to transform access, quality, efficiency and equity. Consider just a few of the industry leaders headquartered or significantly staffed here: Arizona State University, Apollo Group, Blackboard, Grand Canyon Education, Universal Technical Institute, and Pearson. Complimenting these players are dynamic early stage companies like Parchment, and national events like the ASU Education Innovation Summit, which attracts a who’s who of venture capitalists and early-stage companies in the education-technology space.
Investors are equally excited about the potential of data analytics. Indeed, Facebook’s impending IPO is exciting not for the Company’s scale of users and social connections per se, but the potential of the data that is generated when so many people conduct and express their daily lives through the Facebook platform. The New York Times Magazine’s recent profile on Target Corp. is another great example. At parchment.com, we are mining transcript data to help students gauge which college is their best fit and see how they can incrementally improve their chances of admission. With smart investments in our research universities, Arizona can attract the quantitative expertise that is so critical to leading in this new category of technology-enabled value creation.
Finally, the Software-as-a-Service business model is fast becoming the norm. SaaS companies make money on a subscription basis through annually recurring fees for applications users access via the Internet (the Cloud). No need to install complicated software on your business’s servers. Just sign a subscription license, create an account, and use software like Docufide by Parchment as a utility. Local companies such as TrueCloud, Sycara and Parchment exemplify the trend.
It’s an exciting time to be building a dynamic early stage technology venture in Arizona. As an education credentials data company with a SaaS solution, Parchment is an example of what attracts today’s investors. We are on the move with aggressive growth and a powerful mission to unleash education credentials by unlocking the critical data they embody. And we are proud to help build Arizona with this energy as well as attract new talent as we double our headcount in 2012. For more visit, Parchment.com