Pear Deck expands from Iowa City into Kansas City

Jul01, 2016

Iowa City-based edtech startup Pear Deck is expanding its sales team into Kansas City this summer.

The decision follows the hire of Nick De Buyl as VP of Sales, who was previously the Director of Sales for Netchemia, a Kansas City education startup which was acquired by PeopleAdmin out of Austin in February 2015.

“I felt like I needed to find something that was going to have a big impact on student achievement,” said De Buyl. “As a former teacher it felt really easy to choose Pear Deck for my next challenge.”

After working remotely from Kansas City since last August, De Buyl decided that it made a lot of sense to build a sales force in the Kansas City area.

“I thought it was a great place to grow and scale Pear Deck,” said De Buyl.

As of June 1 Pear Deck joined the KC Startup Village and made two hires. They expect to hire 2-4 for their sales team by the end of the year, with a likely expansion in January 2017.

Serving over a million students

Pear Deck launched in 2014, winning “New Startup of the Year” at the Silicon Prairie Awards that year. In 2015 SPN reported on Pear Deck’s win at Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest pitch competition at SXSW.

Since then the platform has expanded its reach. Their app is now being used in over 100,000 classrooms by over a million students worldwide, including schools in Lee Summit, Missouri; Iowa City, Iowa; Council Bluffs, Iowa; and a pilot program in Lincoln, Nebraska.

According to De Buyl, the company has tripled their revenue over the last 12 months.

“We’re going through our first renewal season for our customers and our renewal rate is 99%,” said De Buyl.

Including renewals plus upgrades, the company is over 120%.

De Buyl attributes the growth to being part of the Google education platform that is taking off internationally.

“I think the product itself is very addictive. It quickly meets the various teacher-users where they’re comfortable,” said De Buyl. “For schools already going through an implementation process with Google, from a teacher-user standpoint it feels like the language they’re already learning.”

The app is also growing due to its biggest fans—educators.

“Our teachers are our biggest advocates and the biggest experts on our tools. We’ve be able to be successful because of our teachers,” said Nick Park, Partnership Manager.

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