May 18, 2021

SJF Invests in Rhithm – Right time. Right place. Right product. Right impact.

We are excited to announce SJF’s investment in Rhithm, a social emotional learning (SEL) platform providing data-driven insight into student well-being. We join our friends at Reach Capital, who led the investment, as well as a broader syndicate with Red House Education and Edovate Capital. Reach wrote a great piece, articulating their excitement in the company.

SJF has had a long-standing focus on both health and education, and we’ve made many investments in both verticals, separately. It is exciting to find a great company in either one of those sectors, alone, and it’s particularly rewarding to partner with a company that can drive impact in both. With Rhithm, we see a unique opportunity to move the ball forward in the critical intersection between health and education.

Rhithm’s offering couldn’t come in a better moment. There has been a meaningful deterioration in youth mental health over the last decade. COVID-19 exacerbated this already troubling trend. At the same time, educators continued to become more eager for solutions and more vocal about its urgency. Even years before the pandemic, conferences amongst district and school stakeholders regularly headlined SEL and youth mental health as a priority issue. Mental wellbeing is a critical component of success in school, yet educators are often ill-equipped to support their students in this capacity. Rhithm is a solution that empowers educators to deal with these underlying, but underserved, factors in student success.

We feel Rhithm’s approach is elegant and differentiated — it delivers the right product for this challenge. The product is lightweight and offers easy-to-use, “snackable” assessments, interventions, and tools for teachers, which they can use in the classroom on a regular basis. Importantly, students connect with it and teachers love it, creating strong engagement on both sides. The company has taken a multi-stakeholder philosophy that recognizes the importance of engaging the broad community of administrators, counselors, teachers, and students. We believe that for real change and better outcomes it will take the “village.”

Rhithm’s broad engagement helps to serve students we know need additional support as well as those students that might have gone otherwise unnoticed in their need for intervention. Rhithm will flag both of these types of students to educators, reducing the burden teachers have to identify students who may be struggling. For district administrators, the platform provides rolled up analytics and data insights that enable them to understand what’s working and what needs to be adjusted across their buildings.

Rhithm is here at the right time when youth mental health is in crisis. Schools are a critical setting in which to deliver this support. The lightweight, easy-to-use platform makes this product special. Rhithm arrives at the right time, in the right place, with the right product to deliver tremendous societal impact. We are glad to join the ride and “get into Rhithm.”

Arrun Kapoor and Perry Clarkson led the Rhithm investment for SJF.