Startup Gets Two $100,000 Investments in Same Week
Christopher Gray is having the best week ever. On Tuesday, his app Scholly beat out hundreds of other companies to win a $100,000 investment from Steve Case (AOL founder and angel investor) during his Rise of the Rest Tour.
And on Thursday, Scholly got yet another $100,000 investment — this time from the Startup PHL Angel Fund.
Scholly is a smartphone app that helps students easily find scholarship funds — which is incredibly useful in an era when hundreds of millions in scholarships are going to waste each year.
“To have this money and support from the city and the mayor is unbelievable,” said Gray in an interview Thursday morning. “Scholly is making Philly home, growing here and creating jobs here. I’m excited to be part of this community. In San Francisco or New York, you’re just another number, but here in Philly we have support financially politically and socially. It’s really special.”
Back in February, Scholly gained national attention by securing a $40,000 investment with Lori Greiner and Daymond John on Shark Tank (and starting the biggest fight in the show’s history.)
Scholly has also partnered with the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative to provide the app to 275,000 students across America each year. The app has also been endorsed by the Coca Cola Scholars Foundation and the Gates Millennium Scholars Foundation. In less than two years, Scholly has helped students raise at least $20 million in scholarship funds.
Now, it’s time to scale. Gray said in the short-term, he plans to expand his team from seven to 10 employees and launch a new version of the app in October. He said that Scholly has “hundreds of thousands” of users, but declined to provide a specific number.
In a statement, Mayor Michael Nutter said the $100,000 Startup PHL Angel Fund investment means more jobs stay in the city.
“More companies are choosing not just to launch in the City of Philadelphia but to stay and grow their businesses here as well. Talent is also staying and finding opportunities for themselves in the vibrant startup economy in Philadelphia,” he said. “My administration is proud to do all we can to continue to promote Philadelphia as one of America’s top startup cities.”
Scholly is the ninth company to receive an investment with $1,149,997 invested in Philly startups since 2013.
Josh Kopelman, partner at First Round Capital, has seen Scholly grow over the years.
“I’ve known Chris since his days as a student investor with our Dorm Room Fund,” he said. “He and his team at Scholly have accomplished an incredible amount in a very short period of time, and I’m thrilled to continue to work closely with them through Startup PHL.”