Techcrunch on a new VC-backed startup, ClassEDU, and its first product, Class for Zoom:
Today, Class for Zoom announced that it has raised a $16 million seed round, pre-launch, co-led by Deborah Quazzo of GSV Ventures and Santi Subotovsky of Emergence Capital and a current Zoom board member. Other investors includee Jim Scheinman of Maven Ventures, an early investor in Zoom and the person who is credited with naming Zoom; Bill Tai, who is Zoom’s first committed backer; Steve Case, co-founder of AOL and CEO of Revolution.
At the schoolhouse intersection of surveillance and profit:
Less popular, [CEO] Chasen jokes, is Class for Zoom’s ability to give teachers intel on if a student has Zoom as the primary app in use on their screen. The attention-tracking feature is not new, but it is oversight some people might not be okay with. Students can disable the ability to track focus, but administrators can make it mandatory. The platform also allows teachers to monitor a student’s desktop during an exam to limit cheating.
Class for Zoom’s access to a student’s personal computer could make some users uncomfortable. Zoom has been banned from some school districts due to security concerns, and a wave of Zoombombing attacks, where an unwanted participant hacks into a call and streams inappropriate or offensive content. In response, the video conferencing company has put in security measures, such as verification tools and waiting rooms.