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Insights — Exbo Group

Market Watch: Campus' Rapid Growth After its 2023 Series A Funding

Minute read

Throughout the year, Exbo Group utilizes Pitchbook to track companies in the EdTech vertical with whom we are not directly affiliated. In doing so, we gain insights into major deals that are happening in the market and are able to gauge how those deals might impact our clients. In this Market Watch article, we’ll be looking into EdTech startup Campus.

Fueled by a sizable $29 million Series A funding round, education startup Campus experienced breakneck early growth in 2023 as it worked to establish itself as an affordable and accessible online degree alternative. Campus is an accredited community college that offers both live online and in-person associate degrees and certificate programs. Its classes are taught by professors who also teach at leading universities, such as Princeton and Vanderbilt. 

After raising its Series A in May 2023 from high-profile EdTech investors like Sam Altman and Jason Citron, Campus worked quickly to ramp up enrollment and course offerings. The company has already increased its student body, and is looking to expand its catalog of programs, certificates and degree tracks by the end of 2023 [1]

As expected, though, the rapid expansion enabled by the Series A funding comes with growth challenges.

As class sizes increase, Campus needs to scale up its hiring and onboard new faculty and support staff to prevent quality dilution.

While student feedback has been positive so far, maintaining academic rigor and strong learner support will be critical as enrollment increases.

Differentiation also remains an open question. Campus operates in a crowded market, facing competition from established online universities and fellow direct-to-student disruptors like Lambda School. Its broad target demographic—the over 39 million Americans who started college but never finished [2]—presents both massive potential and the challenge of refinement. Focusing on specific learner segments could help Campus refine its program mix and allow its messaging to stand out.

Additionally, student acquisition can be a major hurdle to profitable growth. Campus will need to optimize its digital marketing strategy and conversion funnel to control student acquisition costs and enable sustainable scaling. Effective use of its Series A funding will be critical when it comes to their targeted outreach. However, rising digital advertising costs could still negatively impact enrollment.

In the near term, Campus' ample Series A funding will allow the young company to rapidly expand on all fronts. But, further success will require finding a strong balance between growth and quality, controlling student acquisition costs, and differentiating within a crowded market.