Cheaters beware: Examity scores $90M funding round to detect test shenanigans

by Brian Nordli
April 30, 2019
examity team
Photo via examity

Today is a bad day for cheaters everywhere.

Examity, a Boston company that builds cheat-busting test administration software, announced today that it has raised $90 million in funding. The startup will use the funds to accelerate its growth and build a more secure online testing experience.

“If a person cheated in a particular way, we’d understand that using our technology, and it would adjust so that no one can cheat that way again,” said Michael London, Examity’s CEO. “The goal is to achieve ultimate perfection. Of course, the people who cheat never stop adjusting, so it’s never-ending. But the way we develop our technology gives us the advantage to achieve fairness in testing.”

Founded in 2013, Examity develops software that can be used to proctor tests and catch people trying to game the system — especially when it comes to online exams.

The first hurdle is authenticating the test taker, which the platform can do through ID verification and analyzing a person’s keystrokes. The software can then record people taking the test to ensure they don’t leave the room to ask for an answer, hop on Google or open a textbook.

If a person cheated in a particular way, we’d understand that using our technology and it would adjust so that no one can cheat that way again.”

Examity offers options for live proctoring services, where a team is on hand to audit and review live sessions, and an automated one. The startup can either flag cheating to let administrators know, or automatically end test sessions upon detecting irregularities.

As colleges and certification programs offer more and more online testing, the need for anti-cheating software has only continued to grow, London said. Already, one third of all college students take at least one online course, according to the company, and employers are also expanding online testing.

In the last year, Examity has grown rapidly. The company has doubled in size and has been recognized by Deloitte’s Fast 500 as the fastest-growing edtech company in North America.

The company has more than 500 customers, including Penn State University and Texas A&M, along with MongoDB and Amazon. This financing round will enable the company to expand research into machine learning technology and biometrics to build a more secure online testing experience.

Examity, which offers services in Australia, Asia and Canada, also plans to expand into Europe with this round.

London said the company plans to hire at least 50 employees by the end of the year for all roles.

“For us, (this round) means a lot of things,” London said. “It will enable us to continue to develop the best technologies to solve a lot of the issues around learning validation, and it will help us build out sales marketing and other leadership positions... A $90 million round helps everyone see the excitement there is around education tech.”

Boston-based private-equity firm Great Hill Partners led the round.

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