With ESAs Soaring, Tech Platform Odyssey Emerges To Help Families Access State Funding
As the pandemic interrupted schooling throughout the country, an increasing number of parents from a variety of walks of life began seeking new schooling arrangements and educational opportunities.
Eager to support all families looking for better choices for their children that match the priorities and realities of the parents and caregivers, many states have stepped forward with a range of education savings accounts (ESAs) and microgrant programs to enable families to afford different choices.
But even as states from Arizona to West Virginia and from Florida to New Hampshire and Idaho have moved in this direction, a critical challenge has been the bureaucracy and complexity of administering these programs and dollars and helping more families navigate these opportunities.
To tackle that problem, edtech startup Odyssey, a platform that helps connect families to public funding and education services, has raised a $4.75 million seed round from a top group of investors, including lead investor Andreesen Horowitz through its American Dynamism practice that invests to solve important national problems, as well as Village Global, Bling Capital, John Danner, and more.
The problem Odyssey is solving isn’t a small one. Distributing millions of dollars to thousands of parents presents a dizzying challenge for states. Making good on the promise of ESAs hinges on addressing inadequate fraud protection and administrative transparency, complicated application and verification processes, and—as a result—a lack of participation from both parents and providers.
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