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Former Drizly General Counsel Lands at Edtech Startup Panorama

Feb. 3, 2021, 10:31 AM

Nidhi Kumar, the former general counsel at on-demand alcohol delivery service Drizly Inc., has landed a job as legal chief for Panorama Education, a data analytics and education software company.

Kumar started Feb. 1 at the Boston-based company, she said on LinkedIn. She is the company’s first legal chief, said Elizabeth Breese, Panorama’s head of marketing.

“After spending much of the past year reflecting on my personal values and professional objectives, I decided I would feel most fulfilled if I could be useful in supporting young learners,” Kumar wrote on LinkedIn.

Panorama helps school districts and related parties collect data from teachers, students, and their parents through surveys and other technologies.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a charity started by Facebook Inc. co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, was part of an initial seed funding round at Panorama. Founded in 2012, the company has raised nearly $33 million to date.

Kumar on LinkedIn cited the company’s “commitment to advancing social-emotional health and overall readiness for students and educators.” She didn’t respond to a request for comment about her new role.

Kumar, a former Goodwin Procter associate, spent four years as general counsel for Drizly, which agreed Tuesday to be sold to ride-sharing company Uber Technologies Inc. in a $1.1 billion cash-and-stock deal.

In a 2019 interview with Built in Boston, a local publication covering the city’s technology and startup sector, Kumar said that after working in the law firm and health care world she enjoyed the challenge of helping a startup company like Drizly navigate complex regulations on controlled substances.

Prior to joining Drizly as general counsel and senior vice president for industry affairs in 2016, Kumar spent nearly seven years in-house at Partners HealthCare, a nonprofit hospital and physicians’ network now called Mass General Brigham Inc.

Kumar left Drizly in May 2020, according to her LinkedIn profile. She spent the past seven months as a legal adviser to Cambridge, Mass.-based Grocery Outpost LLC. That e-commerce platform, which allowed restaurants to sell groceries locally, reportedly shut down its operations in December.

Bloomberg Law reported last June on Drizly promoting Jacqueline “Jaci” Flug, its former vice president of legal, regulatory, and industry affairs, to replace Kumar as general counsel. Drizly’s sale to Uber is expected to close in the first half of this year.

Other Education Moves

Panorama’s recruitment of Kumar makes her the latest in a series of in-house additions in the education software and technology space, which has boomed in the last year as market participants sought out specialized legal counsel due to the coronavirus pandemic that also led to a rise in remote learning.

The Emeritus Institute of Management Inc., a Boston-based online education startup, announced last month its hire of Liza Wolf as director of global legal affairs. Wolf spent the previous seven years as general counsel and vice president of compliance at FullBloom, parent company of Catapult Learning LLC, a Camden, N.J.-based special education and behavioral health provider.

Noodle Education Inc., a New York-based online education company, announced Jan. 6 its hire of general counsel Laura Hertzog. The former associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and director of associate development and legal personnel at Chadbourne & Parke—now part of Norton Rose Fulbright—spent the past two years as general counsel for William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J. She’s also previously held in-house roles at Hunter College and Cornell University.

Duolingo Inc., a popular language-learning app, hired its first-ever general counsel last year in Stephen Chen, a former associate general counsel at enterprise security company Proofpoint Inc. Watermelon Express Inc., a Chicago-based cloud learning platform doing business as BenchPrep, announced Oct. 21 its hire of former Verint Systems Inc. assistant general counsel Kristen Shaheen as general counsel.

Lovevery Inc., a Boise, Idaho-based children’s education subscription service co-founded by businessman Roderick “Rod” Morris, hired Fish & Richardson venture capital finance expert and patent litigator David Morris as its general counsel in December. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Google Ventures were part of a $20 million fundraising round in 2019 by Lovevery, which makes Montessori-based educational toys for kids.

Morris, who was of counsel in Fish & Richardson’s office in Austin, Texas, didn’t respond to a request for comment. Nor did a Lovevery spokeswoman when asked if he was related to Rod Morris, who also serves as the company’s president.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com
John Hughes at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com;