Since making its way into American schools for the 2011 school year, ClassDojo has become part of the learning experience for many children. ClassDojo can now be found in at least 95% public elementary and middle schools, meaning one in six American children under the age 14 are familiar with the app and how it operates. What’s partly responsible for its widespread use is a business model that takes no money from teachers or their schools. But with investors patiently waiting for a return on their investment, its time for the company to generate revenue.
ClassDojo’s solution for their investors is the development of a new apps, ClassDojo Beyond School. This app will rely on a subscription model aimed at parents of those one-in-six children. This new app will include many of the tools found in the classroom version to encourage studying at home, but parents will now have more control over what they’re able to access and the power to hand out points to reward certain behaviors.
Parents, like teachers have been able to in the past, can allocate or deduct points from their child’s account depending on their performance on certain tasks within and outside of the Beyond School. This can help set routines around chores and study time to make sure that their progress continues when back in the classroom.
Parents will also have the chance to learn a thing or two. Meditation and mindfulness, which have been popular portions of the classroom edition of ClassDojo, will provide them with instructional videos that will help them take part in their child’s routine. Children will also have the option to develop a sort-of video diary as they respond to prompts designed to get them thinking about their state of mind and emotional health. This can give parents insight into how their child is feeling and encourage discussions they may not feel comfortable having with their teacher.
CEO Sam Chaudhary says the aim behind Beyond School is to help parents identify more opportunities to help their child learn in a more relaxed environment than school, while helping parents become more involved in their educational experience.
Having gone so many years without taking in revenue usually leads to startups shutting down. ClassDojo has avoided that by managing its $31 million investment quite conservatively. By offering free services they managed to enter so many schools without having to have much of an advertising budget. A small team of ten, which has grown to only 35, have kept expenses focused on the development of the app. But Chaudhary’s secret has been detailed and honest conversations with investors, letting them know what the model will look like and who it will be for prior to accepting any funding, keeping expectations closely aligned with reality.