Teachers Need Kimono
The typical school uses 25–30 software applications every day. Oftentimes, teachers have to manually enroll their students in every application they use, which takes time away from teaching the children, who you may know, are our future. So really, for every hour a teacher spends trying to configure software for his or her classroom, the future gets a little dimmer.
Luckily, Kimono is here to save the world. “We help school districts automate the process of finding out who needs which applications,” explains Kimono CEO Steve Curtis. Kimono keeps all necessary software information up to date and knows of any changes made. “We automate the process so school districts are plugged in,” Mr. Curtis says.
When schools use Kimono, they provide their students with instant access to the applications they need, and teachers are free from the hassle of dealing with work typically outside their expertise. “Our product is used more by IT staff than teachers,” explains CTO Eric Peterson. “A teacher rarely knows we exist. They just know that what they wanted to happen happened.”
The Kimono founders developed the concept for their company in late 2012 and made their first commercial sale mid-2013. They began acquiring customers right away and had their product in 500–600 school districts within the first year, which speaks to just how acute the need is for schools to graduate from their legacy software systems and move to the cloud as Kimono allows them to do.
2,600 school districts all across the nation now use Kimono, and the company has grown from three employees to sixteen, through employee numbers are not the focus of their growth. “Our goal is to be able to dramatically grow the number of accounts without growing the number of employees,” Peterson says. “The benefit of a modern SAAS approach to this problem is we get a lot of scale.”
While Kimono has been bootstrapped up to this point, they are looking to grow into adjacent markets, namely higher education, and may take on capital if it can help them efficiently move into those markets.
“We think we have an essential ingredient in any school district,” Mr. Peterson says. “With the increased focus on data privacy and security, the old ways of integrating data are no longer viable.”
“We want to continue to solve this set of problems for our customers in a way that makes them more efficient,” Mr. Curtis says. “We’ve been working on this problem for 16–17 years. We’re just getting started.”