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A grade school backed by Mark Zuckerberg and Peter Thiel is closing another outpost in New York City

san francisco altschool 4319 max ventilla
san francisco altschool 4319 max ventilla

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

  • AltSchool, an educational-technology startup based in San Francisco, is closing its outpost in Manhattan's East Village.

  • It's the second closure that AltSchool has announced in two days.

  • The VC-backed startup will refocus its efforts on licensing its proprietary educational software to existing schools, rather than create new schools.


AltSchool, an educational software developer and network of "micro-schools" with four locations in California and New York, is shuttering another outpost.

The startup's schoolhouse in Manhattan's East Village will close its doors at the end of the academic year, according to an email obtained by Business Insider from vice president of schools at AltSchool, Sam Franklin, to parents of AltSchool students on Thursday night.

It's the second closure that AltSchool has announced in two days, after the buzzy ed-tech startup revealed it's closing its location in Silicon Valley. AltSchool appears to be refocusing its energy on licensing its educational software to existing schools, rather than creating new ones.

In an email to parents, Franklin apologized to parents who may have learned about the school closures "in the news rather than hearing it from us."

AltSchool charges $27,000 for tuition, but it has been spending about $40 million per year, Bloomberg reported. The startup is backed by top investors including Mark Zuckerberg, Peter Thiel's Founders Fund, and Andreessen Horowitz. It has raised at least $170 million to date.

AltSchool runs four grade schools: San Francisco's Yerba Buena and Fort Mason locations and New York's Brooklyn Heights and Union Square outposts. These lab schools serve as testing grounds for an in-house team of technologists to innovate new tools for the classroom. AltSchool evangelizes using technology to personalize the curriculum for individual students.

The startup licenses its tech to at least hundreds of schools nationwide, Bloomberg reported.

Founded in 2013, AltSchool is the brainchild of founder and CEO Max Ventilla, who left his role as Google's head of personalization to launch the educational-technology startup.

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