A new venture capital fund based in Bentonville launched this week with a post on Medium. The $200+ million fund will focus on advancing public K-12 education across the U.S.
A-Street Ventures will invest in a mix of early-, growth- and late-stage companies, concentrated on digital educational instruction and new ways to assess students.
Profits will be reinvested or donated to charity.
Founder Marc Sternberg is stepping down from eight years as the K-12 education program director for the Walton Family Foundation to lead A-Street.
Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free
Why it matters: Educational disparities between rich and poor students and communities became glaringly obvious during the pandemic.
Now is a critical time to launch an education fund because of the attention on the issue, Sternberg told Axios.
There are a lot of hard questions to tackle. "At a moment of surging digital access, what does digital-forward curricula look like that's high quality? That advances student learning in demonstrable ways?" Sternberg said.
He stressed that A-Street alone won't be able to solve all the challenges, so it will be open to partnerships.
Though profits will be reinvested, there will be expectations of returns on investments like there would be with any other fund.
Details: The fund is seeded by interested members of the Walton family but is held and operated independently of the Walton Family Foundation.
Investments will mostly be made in the U.S., but international entrepreneurs and technology will be considered.
Zoom out: Global venture capital investment in education and education technology rocketed to an estimated $16 billion in 2020.
Just 10 years before, venture capital in the field was about $500 million.
Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.