Katie Fang, Founder and CEO of SchooLinks, courtesy photo

SchooLinks, a college and career readiness platform, landed $8.3 million in funding last week.

LiveOak Venture Partners led the Series A round with participation from SJF Ventures and Juvo Ventures.

Katie Fang founded SchooLinks in 2014 in Los Angeles and moved the startup to Austin a year later. Forbes selected her as a Forbes 30 under 30 entrepreneur in 2018. Silicon Hills News did this story on the company in 2015.

SchooLinks plans to use the funding to hire more employees, and on product development and building partnerships, according to a news release.

SchooLinks works with school districts and guidance counselors to make sure that students choose the right education and career path. SchooLinks’ platform helps schools track various success metrics.

“Changing legislation at the state level and evolving market conditions are putting a spotlight on the school districts’ ability to set their students up for success in the job market regardless of whether they attended a 4-year college or not,” Fang, CEO and Founder said in a news release.

Since its founding, SchooLinks has helped many high school students with graduation plans, FAFSA completion, and post-secondary plans. The platform starts working with students, counselors, and families beginning in the 6th grade. The platform provides career assessments, college and career options, jobs and internship opportunities, financial literacy lessons, scholarship applications, and more.

SchooLink’s customers include the Dallas Independent School District, Greenville County Schools, and San Antonio Independent School District. The SchooLink’s platform handles back-office logistics for districts including individual career and academic plans, course planning, CTE pathway,  and more so that counselors can spend more time with students.

As part of the funding round, LiveOak’s Mason Rathe will be joining SchooLinks as vice president of finance and operations.

“It struck a chord, as a parent,” said Krishna Srinivasan, founding partner at LiveOak Venture Partners, who will take a board seat as part of the funding. He saw a big need for the services SchooLink offers.

Srinivasan and his wife have three children, two of them have been admitted to college and another will go through the college application process. He saw firsthand that students need more guidance associated with which college program to select and what courses to take in middle school and high school to prepare them to get into that program.

“Parents struggle with giving them guidance,” he said. A better technology platform like SchooLinks can guide the students, he said.

“This is a really needed solution to help these kids on their journeys from middle school through high school graduation,” he said.

School districts, counselors, administrators all agree this is a great product and SchooLinks makes an administrator’s and a college guidance counselor’s life easier.

“It is loved by students when they use it,” Srinivasan said.

SchooLinks has also had incredible growth in a short period of time and is in dozens of school districts in dozens of states, he said.

“The metrics this company has associated with growth are absolutely incredible,” he said.

And the main reason it is succeeding and accelerating its growth is that it has an exceptional founder in Katie Fang, Srinivasan said.

“The combination of those factors is kind of what drew us to invest,” he said.