Multimedia startup Tract raises $7m to empower kids develop 21st century skills through content creation
Tract, the online community where kids teach kids through multimedia, announced its $7 million seed funding round led by NEA with participation from Bill Tai (Sangha Capital/ACTAI), Anne Wojcicki (23&Me), Susan Wojcicki (YouTube), Marc Pincus (Zynga), and Dan Rosensweig (Chegg). The funding will help Tract to further its mission to unlock every child's potential to become an impactful creator. The startup was founded in 2020 by celebrity mom and California teacher of the year, Esther Wojcicki, and her former student and Uber exec, Ari Memar, after the pair realized the gravity of the 21st century skills gap, mental health epidemic, and teacher shortage.
Esther Wojcicki, Co-founder, "Teachers are overworked and understaffed. Parents are busy. Kids are not getting prepared for future jobs. My goal with Tract is to help make it easy for anyone, anywhere to prepare their kids for success.
Tract allows kids to learn, create, share, and teach through video in its safe, moderated online community. In its first year, Tract welcomed 30,000 members who posted 5,000+ lessons that resulted in 100,000+ projects. Teachers can seamlessly bring Tract into their classroom to make any subject area more fun, real-world relevant, and kid-centric.
Ari Memar, Co-founder and CEO, Tract: "The #1 thing kids want to be is a YouTube or TikTok creator. They aspire to be creators because they want to be creative, famous and teach. Combining the fun, creative process of making videos with research-backed educational paradigms, like project-based learning and peer instruction, can help every teacher improve the outcomes for their students, while saving time lesson planning.''
Ann Bordetsky, Partner, NEA: "Today's kids are digitally native at a younger age than any previous generation. With over 30% kids owning a smartphone by age 8, kids are using adult platforms like YouTube and TikTok but still lack safe and engaging digital spaces that fit their needs. Tract is pioneering a platform for school-age kids to be social learners, builders and creators, inside and outside the classroom. We're thrilled to partner with Ari and Esther on this mission."
To celebrate Tract's second school year and provide even greater relief to overworked educators, Tract is announcing that it will be free for educators and releasing its first collection of 5 project-based, standards-aligned guides across Math, English Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, and Art that have been collaborated on by kids, experts, and influencers.
To further elevate the student creations throughout the semester, Tract will be joined by Malala Yousafzai, Art by Joudy, Always Alyssa, The Galactic Gal, Will Levis, Jahkori Hall, and Carissa Cabrera on Friday, December 9, for the first ever Tract-a-thon: an interactive, virtual event that amplifies student work through an authentic global audience, including special awards, guests, and prizes. Teachers will be provided with free resources like in-class signage, certificates, and peer review templates, so they can host their own in-classroom symposiums.