OOHLALA Mobile Raises $5.3 million Series A to Help Schools Attract, Retain Students

OOHLALA Mobile has raised $5.3 million. The capital hails from Led by University Ventures, Y Combinator, GoAhead Ventures, and Real Ventures as well as prominent angels.

Troy Williams of University will join the board of the YC graduate, which was founded by Alice Dinu, Danial Jameel, James Dang, and Peter Cen—University of Toronto grads who made Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list this year.

The Montreal-born startup helps schools improve student experiences to boost engagement and retention. Nearly half of students that enter college fail to graduate within six years, the startup says, and according to a 2013 study by the American Institutes for Research, 1,669 colleges and universities collectively lost revenue close to $16.5 billion due to attrition.

Currently OOHLALA services more than 200 post-secondary institutions across seven countries, including McGill, Harvard Law, and Rutgers. The company says that today, schools feel an increased pressure to both attract and retain students in a changing world.

The startup’s software uses algorithms and alerts to simplify student experiences on a daily level, and also exposes them to extracurricular opportunities and career options.

Zack Brown, former vice president of sales for Lightspeed, is joining OOHLALA as chief revenue officer, while Zaki Mohamed, former vice president of product for Influitive, is joining the company with the same title—which is all to suggest that the young, clever company is doing something well enough to attract the trifecta: fundraising, customers, and talent.

Perhaps they’re on to something.