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Top Hat (company)

Top Hat (company)

Top Hat is a company founded by Mike Silagadze. Top Hat produces software aimed at increasing engagement in students. The software allows users to integrate videos and graphics and customize interactive textbooks.

Top Hat is a Canadian educational software company with its headquarters in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and a second office in Sydney, Australia. Top Hat hosts a library of interactive college textbooks that students read on their mobile devices, and a platform designed for teachers to check attendance with additional products for student engagement, assignments and activities. Students pay to use the app per semester or over longer periods, and universitywide licences are also available.


Co-founders Mike Silagadze and Mohsen Shahini started Top Hat in 2009 in Waterloo, Ontario, to tackle problems with student concentration and mobile devices they witnessed while studying at the University of Waterloo.Early on, the company’s sales approach involved selling directly to academic administration "who had little incentive or interest in changing the way students access course materials," according to Silagadze. The firm changed its tactics to sell directly to educators, a strategy that, according to the company, has resulted in more than two million student subscribers across North America and beyond. The company claims that they are used in over 1000 universities. As of 2018, Top Hat charges no platform fees for students when their professors assign Open Educational Resources.


In 2017, Top Hat was recognized by numerous awards including Canadian Innovation Exchange Top 20 Program, "Best Canadian Startup of the Year" at the TechVibes Canadian Startup Awards, and Pauli Award for Company of the Year.


Educators are able to adopt, customize and sell digital textbooks and course materials on the Top Hat Marketplace. Teachers can also collaborate with one another to create and update teaching material. Currently, 90 percent of course materials in the Marketplace are free. Top Hat Test allows educators to create and administer tests and assessments.


February 4, 2021
Top Hat raises a $130,000,000 series E round.
February 2020
Top Hat raises a $50,000,000 series D round from Georgian Partners and iNovia Capital.
February 15, 2017
Top Hat raises a $29,500,000 series C round from Emergence Capital Partners, Georgian Partners, Golden Ventures, SoftTech VC, Union Square Ventures, Version One and iNovia Capital.

Funding Rounds


Further Resources



Charlize Alcaraz
September 21, 2021
Five Canadian tech companies have made acquisitions or have been acquired over the last little while. Here are some highlights of Canada's movers and shakers.
Isabelle Kirkwood
July 7, 2021
Tech startups in Toronto raised more than $1 billion in venture funding over Q1 2021, nearly matching the dollars raised in the region across all of 2020.
Josh Scott
March 30, 2021
Less than a month after stepping down as founding CEO of Toronto-based EdTech Top Hat, Mike Silagadze has joined Ripple Ventures as a venture partner.
March 10, 2021
/PRNewswire/ -- TechKnowledge, the leading specialized electronic information solutions provider in the Middle East, has been chosen by industry-leading...
Natasha Mascarenhas
January 15, 2021
Top Hat, a startup that digitizes textbooks and turns them into an interactive experience for college students, announced on Wednesday that it has acquired yet another business: Fountainhead Press. The acquisition marks Top Hat's third scoop of a publishing company in the past 12 months. Top Hat's whole business proposition is a subtweet to Zoom [...]


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