Inigral, a technology company that helps colleges with enrollment by using a Facebook application, received $3.25-million in additional funds from investors last month.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Retro Venture Partners provided the latest round of financing for the company, which has grown rapidly since its founding, in 2007. The Gates Foundation invested $2-million in the company in January 2011, and since then, Inigral’s client base has expanded from 15 universities to 110, said Michael Staton, the company’s founder.
The company’s service, called Schools App on Facebook, provides a meeting place for a college’s admitted students to socialize and learn more about the institution before they officially matriculate. Students can log on to the application to find other new students with similar interests, organize social events, and receive information from the college.
Inigral determines the success of the application by measuring its impact on enrollment rates and retention, as well as student engagement, said Jamie Glenn, the company’s chief executive.
Mr. Glenn said the company would use the new funds to build its product and engineering teams and continue developing the application. The company also hopes to use an algorithm to help universities identify students likely to enroll and understand their behavior, he said.
Mr. Staton called the algorithm “enrollment intelligence” and said it uses insights from social media and online behavior. “We want them to build early momentum and make the right choices when they start,” he said. “That relies on the schools’ having good information about the students likely to succeed and those who need additional support.”
He said the company would release details on the new algorithm in a few months.