GoGuardian Case Study
Sumeru and GoGuardian revolutionize K–12 learning and EdTech industry while earning a $1B valuation
“GoGuardian’s CEO and founder, Advait Shinde, is someone who we’ve seen do amazing things in a short period of time. He said, ‘I’m picking Sumeru because they can help us scale this in a different way to the next level.’”
– Sanjeet Mitra, Managing Partner at Sumeru Equity Partners
Founder and Company Background
As part of Sumeru’s education technology investment theme, we first met GoGuardian in 2017. At the time, we were impressed by their highly innovative products — a safety and classroom management suite for K-12 schools. We also appreciated the commitment of their strong founder-led team to innovate with new products to address the digital learning shifts across their target market.
Chromebook™ notebook computers, laptops, and other computer technologies have become increasingly popular in classroom settings, leading to new challenges for educators. GoGuardian’s software solutions addressed the software application needed to manage technology rollouts in the classroom and continue to support them throughout the school year.
Sumeru Managing Partner Sanjeet Mitra described the founder vision that helped fuel GoGuardian’s mission:
“GoGuardian had a vision. They said, ‘We want to take the best people in technology and the best people in education and do something where we create safer and better learning experiences for teachers and students.'”
Sumeru believed GoGuardian’s strong operating metrics across growth, product development, customer retention and profitability stood out in the EdTech space and invested in the company in 2018.
As a team, we were bold enough to see the issues that would be faced by teachers and students in the future as Wi-Fi, computers and handheld devices continued to replace chalkboards and textbooks. Our team partnered with GoGuardian to help lead this revolution and reimagine what learning looks like in the future.
Product Roadmap and Value Creation
Through a collaborative, transparent, and open partnership, GoGuardian and Sumeru strategically aligned on a product roadmap focused on reshaping the learning environment for teachers and students everywhere. The company’s go-to-market structure positioned GoGuardian to meet demand through direct and indirect sales channels.
GoGuardian already positioned itself for success through channel partnerships with companies that sell classroom technology to schools. When a school purchased Chromebooks or other devices, the GoGuardian product was pre-loaded, introducing teachers and administrators to this essential classroom management tool in an organic way.
Sumeru lent insights to build a multimodal GTM strategy with strong SaaS KPIs at scale.
Jack McCabe, Principal at Sumeru, explained:
“By early 2018, GoGuardian had scaled to around $20 million in revenues – we were big believers in its potential to become a $75 million, $100 million revenue player quickly.”
Building Out the Team
To reach new markets, GoGuardian needed a team that could address large-scale, medium-scale, and smaller-scale district- and school-level sales. Sumeru worked with their Buildium to develop an enterprise-quality sales organization. We also supported their sales efforts with business development, lead generation, customer success applications, and other services.
Sumeru worked closely with GoGuardian’s CEO and CTO to build a scalable management team and board — including a CEO from Teach for America and deputy undersecretary for the Department of Education — for long-term market leadership. We also led multiple strategic acquisitions that strengthened the platform’s student engagement and assessment technologies.
Leading the Global Shift to E-Learning
Global events highlighted the need for accessible classroom technology and the management software to control it. As the market for such technology solutions grew, GoGuardian’s bold strategy and dedication to revolutionizing the modern learning environment continued to capture more market share.
The scalability the company achieved proved necessary as schools and students needed help. GoGuardian’s industry leadership was there to fill the learning gap.
Sumeru Operating Director Ben Cox added:
“This strategy of putting the students first led to several new customers and explosive growth. Once schools had a chance to try the products, they found they were super valuable.”
The value that GoGuardian was able to provide has only continued to evolve and increase. This ability to truly help its customers and provide new solutions for a changing educational industry is what made this project so groundbreaking — and so special.
Growth-Focused Strategies and a $1B Valuation
In July 2021, GoGuardian announced a $200 million strategic investment from Tiger Global, valuing the business at over $1 billion. This influx gave the company additional capital to accelerate its mission of bringing more effective learning solutions to schools worldwide.
According to McCabe:
“I think what’s so exciting is the long-term potential for the business, what is still in play – even with having first invested in 2018 and seeing the performance across the last 4 years, we continue to focus on what’s in front of the company, the product and growth upside from here.”