San Francisco-based Forerunner Ventures is best known for its long string of bets on successful and fast-growing consumer companies. Now, its newest partner, Brian O’Malley, who has a knack for finding startups that straddle both the consumer and enterprise worlds, has written his first check on behalf of the firm, and it’s largely in that same vein.
The company: Homeroom, a two-year-old, 12-person, San Francisco-based marketplace business focused around after-school enrichment programs. In the simplest terms, the company makes free software for program organizers that provides them with a clearer way to schedule classes; organize sign-ups; and accept, process, and track payment.
It makes money from the growing number of class vendors that want to extend their reach into new school districts and which provide Homeroom with a cut every time a parent signs up his or her child for one of their after-school programs.
It’s easy to see Homeroom’s appeal. Program organizers are often parent-volunteers who are trying to keep tabs on after-school programs through email and Excel spreadsheets. Sometimes these organizers’ view into what’s what is so specific to them that they get stuck in the role — even after their own children have moved on to other schools.