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Microsoft Ventures Invests in Ranku to Help Students and Adults Find Online Degrees

Posted on: November 5, 2013

Online education is like the Wild West. Ranku is a discovery engine that helps students and adults looking to further their education navigate the process and find reputable online colleges.

As a growing option for many students, online education can be a great fit and excellent resource for many adults looking to go back to school and working professionals furthering their career. However, comparable information for online institutions can be tough to find.

Given the amount of for-profit online education marketing, Ranku focuses on public, private, and state schools that provide online opportunities, including Georgetown, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, and Arizona State University. They help students make informed decisions, compare costs and find a degree that suits their needs.

This is a great example of how startups are addressing the top issues of their generation with great new services that make an impact. Co-founders Kim Taylor and Cecilia Retelle are revolutionizing the process for students that are trying to balance the need for higher education, growing costs of traditional schools and the transparency gap for online schools.

“Taking that next step to go back to school is not an easy one,” said Taylor. “And the overwhelming hunt for the perfect online degree can be just as daunting. As online education is becoming the norm, we expect Ranku’s search engine to be a key part of students’ decision-making process. We look forward to working with Microsoft Ventures to expand our support for students on the brink of making decisions about their future.”

Taylor and Retelle built Ranku with a simple goal to help people make informed decisions about online education and are quickly gaining traction. They recently graduated from TechStars and are also backed by billionaire investor Mark Cuban.

Interestingly enough, I met Kim while she was a fledging entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. While we connected, there wasn’t an obvious connection to her previous startup.  However, after hearing about Ranku my interest piqued.  It’s also a personal mission of mine to help disrupt education globally --- so when I saw that Kim created Ranku we decided to do the deal and help her build the business.  There is still so much work to do in education, Ranku offers a small but meaningful step in a very big problem space. 

To begin your college search, check out Ranku at http://www.goranku.com/.

-- Rahul Sood, general manager, Microsoft Ventures 

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