The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced today it has invested $2 million in education technology company Inigral, to help fund its Schools App on Facebook.
The Schools App uses Facebook to create a virtual community for colleges students during the admissions and orientation process and through their first year. The Schools App aims to increase involvement and engagement among college students to increase the likelihood of graduation.
"Facebook was founded in a college dorm and gave classmates a way to connect with each other," said Ethan Beard, Director of Platform Partnerships, Facebook.
"Inigral's Schools App continues this legacy by working to positively impact the lives of students and increase the likelihood of graduation. The involvement of the Gates Foundation highlights the opportunity for startups like Inigral to build on Facebook to make an impact on education and create new opportunities for students."
The Gates Foundation's equity investment is part of an ongoing exploration of charitable giving to improve education. The foundation also will provide grants to academic researchers and higher education groups to study the impact of social media on postsecondary student engagement and retention.