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Brainly Scores $80M for its Online P2P Learning Platform and Community

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The pandemic has severely disrupted the framework of education globally.  With in-person learning halted or interrupted, both parents and students have faced added pressure to adjust to the concept of remote learning.  Brainly is a peer-to-peer online learning platform for parents and students that helps alleviate some of these challenges.  At its core, the platform focuses on homework help and questions, where students can give or receive help in a trusted community.  Not surprisingly, in 2020, the company experienced 75% growth for its freemium service and now has over 350M students in its community.

AlleyWatch caught up with CEO Michał Borkowski to learn more about the massive shift in online learning as a result of the pandemic, the company’s plans to expand its product offering and geographically, and the company’s recent round of funding, which brings the total funding to $148.5M.

Who were your investors and how much did you raise?

This $80M Series D round of funding is led by existing Brainly investor, Learn Capital, and includes Prosus Ventures, Runa Capital, MantaRay, and General Catalyst Partners. These funds are being used immediately on the continued expansion of our product lineup beyond homework help while pushing further into emerging global markets.

Tell us about the product or service that Brainly offers.

We’ve spent the last decades building the world’s largest online learning platform, where students and parents go from questioning to understanding. With over 350M users globally, we provide students and parents with a platform to connect, allowing them to both receive and offer help with homework problems and questions. The unique, peer-to-peer platform to freely ask questions is unlike anything else available and gives users the confidence that comes from helping others in a collaborative community.

What inspired the start of Brainly?

We realized that there was a real need to give students a safe and trusted digital platform specifically built for learning. My cofounders and I started Brainly driven by the conviction that collaborative online communities can empower students from around the world with knowledge and information.

How is Brainly different?

Brainly is unlike any other platform in this space, with organic word-of-mouth driving our exponential growth. Putting the balance of control in the hands of Brainly’s 350 M users to collaborate, share, and discover, has put us at a huge advantage as we don’t rely on institutions or B2B partnerships to drive growth. This has allowed us to create a platform that’s truly global and rapidly scalable in any market – just imagine what we can do with another $80M which is more than our entire funding to date.

What market does Brainly target and how big is it?

There are 1.2B students around the world, so the addressable market is huge and still largely untapped. While Brainly started as a tool for students, in 2020 we’ve seen that more and more parents are using the platform too, as a way to be more effective support for their kids during the shift to virtual learning. Even before the rise of remote learning,  Grandview Research expected the smart education market to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17.9% from 2020 to 2027. At Brainly we’ve seen growth of 75% since the beginning of 2020.

What’s your business model?

Primarily, Brainly operates in a “Freemium” model, allowing students and parents free access with an upgrade to Brainly Plus unlocking unlimited access without ads or interruptions.

How has COVID-19 impacted the business?

Covid has been a catalyst that will forever change how students and parents approach learning. While it’s caused more and more people to discover Brainly during 2020, the value that the platform brings is evergreen.

What was the funding process like?

While we were not actively looking for funding, we realized that this year offered some unique opportunities to leverage our growth and be more ambitious with our product plans. These are “once in a generation” market conditions that we have turned to our advantage in partnership with our existing investor Learn Capital.

What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?

We have a track record that speaks for itself when it comes to homework help and the EdTech space. No other company has grown this rapidly with such little funding which is a testament to the strength of the community and a user experience that enables students and families to succeed given their varied learning needs.

We have a track record that speaks for itself when it comes to homework help and the EdTech space. No other company has grown this rapidly with such little funding which is a testament to the strength of the community and a user experience that enables students and families to succeed given their varied learning needs.

What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?

We’re expediting the delivery of several new, free and paid products beyond homework help to provide users with a more personalized, real-time experience. These products have been created with both students and parents in mind and we look forward to announcing them soon.

Additionally, we’re increasing our presence in key growth markets around the world with an immediate focus on Brazil and Indonesia.

Where do you see the company going now over the near term?

Beyond our expansion into new global markets, we’re embracing the growing importance of parents within the Brainly community. While students will always be the biggest group of Brainly users, we can see how significant parents are and the contributions they make across the board. When parents experience what learning looks like for kids today, they become more understanding of student needs and ultimately make the whole community and user experience more robust.


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Source: https://www.alleywatch.com/2021/01/brainly-online-peer-to-peer-learning-platform-homework-help-michal-borkowski/

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Turning Talents Into Tender: West Tenth Bags $1.5M For Women’s Digital Marketplace

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The global pandemic changed the way women thought about their careers, with many choosing to leave their jobs in order to stay home and care for family members.

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West Tenth, a digital marketplace that is helping women turn nontraditional talents into flexible businesses run from home, closed $1.5 million in seed funding led by Better Ventures. Joining the firm was Stand Together Ventures Lab, Kapital Partners, The Community Fund, Backstage Capital, Wedbush Ventures and Gaingels. The funding gives West Tenth $1.75 million in total funding, according to Lyn Johnson, co-founder and CEO.

Johnson and Sara Sparhawk founded the Los Angeles-based company in 2019 after recognizing that many women turn to home-based businesses if traditional employment does not work out.

“We are supportive of women leaving the workforce, but terrible at supporting them on the way back in,” Johnson said. “As a result, women are turning to micro-entrepreneurship. However, it is hard to see all of those microbusinesses. Many are not on Google or Yelp and have to get word of mouth or be on some sort of social media.”

Prior to the pandemic, 28 million women in the United States did not participate in the workforce, Johnson told Crunchbase News. It is estimated that approximately 2.4 million women exited the workforce over the past year, compared with 1.8 million men, according to an NBC News report.

West Tenth app example

West Tenth’s app enables women to monetize their domestic talents, such as baking, photography or home organization, and then connects them with people in their communities who would like to purchase their products or services.

It is free to have a storefront on the app and people can purchase from the platform, with West Tenth collecting a portion of the purchases, Johnson said.

By Sparhawk’s count, there are more than 9 million home-based businesses, so the company will be using the new funds to build out its product team to get the marketplace into more hands, providing education and a community. The company is also spearheading a program called “The Foundry by West Tenth” that will have guest speakers and networking events focused on topics relevant to women, Sparhawk said in an interview.

The company’s marketplace started with 20 businesses and has grown to 600. It primarily operates in Southern California and Salt Lake City, and West Tenth is planning to expand into Boise and Phoenix later this year, but is also accepting new home-based businesses every day from women across the U.S.

Meanwhile, Lyndsey Boucherle, principle at Better Ventures, said in a written statement that the firm likes to back founders that are democratizing access to opportunity and prosperity.

“West Tenth provides a platform and community for women entrepreneurs to build their own businesses, at a time when women have left the workforce in record numbers,” Boucherle added. “We are excited to support their mission to enable these women to turn their skills and talents into successful home-based businesses.”

Feature photo of West Tenth co-founders Lyn Johnson and Sara Sparhawk, as well as app inset photo courtesy of the company.
Blogroll illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/turning-talents-into-tender-west-tenth-bags-1-5m-for-womens-digital-marketplace/

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Turning Talents Into Tender: West Tenth Bags $1.5M For Women’s Digital Marketplace

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The global pandemic changed the way women thought about their careers, with many choosing to leave their jobs in order to stay home and care for family members.

Subscribe to the Crunchbase Daily

West Tenth, a digital marketplace that is helping women turn nontraditional talents into flexible businesses run from home, closed $1.5 million in seed funding led by Better Ventures. Joining the firm was Stand Together Ventures Lab, Kapital Partners, The Community Fund, Backstage Capital, Wedbush Ventures and Gaingels. The funding gives West Tenth $1.75 million in total funding, according to Lyn Johnson, co-founder and CEO.

Johnson and Sara Sparhawk founded the Los Angeles-based company in 2019 after recognizing that many women turn to home-based businesses if traditional employment does not work out.

“We are supportive of women leaving the workforce, but terrible at supporting them on the way back in,” Johnson said. “As a result, women are turning to micro-entrepreneurship. However, it is hard to see all of those microbusinesses. Many are not on Google or Yelp and have to get word of mouth or be on some sort of social media.”

Prior to the pandemic, 28 million women in the United States did not participate in the workforce, Johnson told Crunchbase News. It is estimated that approximately 2.4 million women exited the workforce over the past year, compared with 1.8 million men, according to an NBC News report.

West Tenth app example

West Tenth’s app enables women to monetize their domestic talents, such as baking, photography or home organization, and then connects them with people in their communities who would like to purchase their products or services.

It is free to have a storefront on the app and people can purchase from the platform, with West Tenth collecting a portion of the purchases, Johnson said.

By Sparhawk’s count, there are more than 9 million home-based businesses, so the company will be using the new funds to build out its product team to get the marketplace into more hands, providing education and a community. The company is also spearheading a program called “The Foundry by West Tenth” that will have guest speakers and networking events focused on topics relevant to women, Sparhawk said in an interview.

The company’s marketplace started with 20 businesses and has grown to 600. It primarily operates in Southern California and Salt Lake City, and West Tenth is planning to expand into Boise and Phoenix later this year, but is also accepting new home-based businesses every day from women across the U.S.

Meanwhile, Lyndsey Boucherle, principle at Better Ventures, said in a written statement that the firm likes to back founders that are democratizing access to opportunity and prosperity.

“West Tenth provides a platform and community for women entrepreneurs to build their own businesses, at a time when women have left the workforce in record numbers,” Boucherle added. “We are excited to support their mission to enable these women to turn their skills and talents into successful home-based businesses.”

Feature photo of West Tenth co-founders Lyn Johnson and Sara Sparhawk, as well as app inset photo courtesy of the company.
Blogroll illustration: Li-Anne Dias

Checkout PrimeXBT
Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/turning-talents-into-tender-west-tenth-bags-1-5m-for-womens-digital-marketplace/

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Turning Talents Into Tender: West Tenth Bags $1.5M For Women’s Digital Marketplace

Avatar

Published

on

The global pandemic changed the way women thought about their careers, with many choosing to leave their jobs in order to stay home and care for family members.

Subscribe to the Crunchbase Daily

West Tenth, a digital marketplace that is helping women turn nontraditional talents into flexible businesses run from home, closed $1.5 million in seed funding led by Better Ventures. Joining the firm was Stand Together Ventures Lab, Kapital Partners, The Community Fund, Backstage Capital, Wedbush Ventures and Gaingels. The funding gives West Tenth $1.75 million in total funding, according to Lyn Johnson, co-founder and CEO.

Johnson and Sara Sparhawk founded the Los Angeles-based company in 2019 after recognizing that many women turn to home-based businesses if traditional employment does not work out.

“We are supportive of women leaving the workforce, but terrible at supporting them on the way back in,” Johnson said. “As a result, women are turning to micro-entrepreneurship. However, it is hard to see all of those microbusinesses. Many are not on Google or Yelp and have to get word of mouth or be on some sort of social media.”

Prior to the pandemic, 28 million women in the United States did not participate in the workforce, Johnson told Crunchbase News. It is estimated that approximately 2.4 million women exited the workforce over the past year, compared with 1.8 million men, according to an NBC News report.

West Tenth app example

West Tenth’s app enables women to monetize their domestic talents, such as baking, photography or home organization, and then connects them with people in their communities who would like to purchase their products or services.

It is free to have a storefront on the app and people can purchase from the platform, with West Tenth collecting a portion of the purchases, Johnson said.

By Sparhawk’s count, there are more than 9 million home-based businesses, so the company will be using the new funds to build out its product team to get the marketplace into more hands, providing education and a community. The company is also spearheading a program called “The Foundry by West Tenth” that will have guest speakers and networking events focused on topics relevant to women, Sparhawk said in an interview.

The company’s marketplace started with 20 businesses and has grown to 600. It primarily operates in Southern California and Salt Lake City, and West Tenth is planning to expand into Boise and Phoenix later this year, but is also accepting new home-based businesses every day from women across the U.S.

Meanwhile, Lyndsey Boucherle, principle at Better Ventures, said in a written statement that the firm likes to back founders that are democratizing access to opportunity and prosperity.

“West Tenth provides a platform and community for women entrepreneurs to build their own businesses, at a time when women have left the workforce in record numbers,” Boucherle added. “We are excited to support their mission to enable these women to turn their skills and talents into successful home-based businesses.”

Feature photo of West Tenth co-founders Lyn Johnson and Sara Sparhawk, as well as app inset photo courtesy of the company.
Blogroll illustration: Li-Anne Dias

Checkout PrimeXBT
Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/turning-talents-into-tender-west-tenth-bags-1-5m-for-womens-digital-marketplace/

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After $31M Raise, Nuvolo Eyes IPO As Early As 2023

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Nuvolo expects to significantly scale the company after closing a $31 million Series C, looking to hit $100 million in annual recurring revenue by late 2022 and possibly the public market the following year.

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“We plan to use the proceeds to drive this business to $100 million in ARR, a couple billion in valuation, and eventually liquidity in the public market,” said founder and CEO Tom Stanford.

Insight Partners led the Series C raise for the Paramus, New Jersey-based workplace services company. Other investors in the round include New Enterprise Associates, Kaiser Permanente Ventures and Revelation Partners.

“Nuvolo is exactly the kind of company we partner with,” said Henry Frankievich, principal at Insight Partners. “They have a great product with a huge market. Nuvolo is in that very exciting growth stage.”

The platform

Nuvolo’s integrated workplace management systems (IWMS) platform is built on top of ServiceNow and allows customers to manage their operations through one unified platform. Companies often use a variety of systems to manage things like real estate, operational technology, facilities and other assets. Nuvolo lets companies use just one cloud-native platform and consolidate down to one system of record, Stanford said.

In addition, Nuvolo also layers on operational technology security capabilities, letting customers such as health care providers know if medical equipment or other physical assets may be at risk of failing and proactively safeguard them.

While the company faces large competitors in the IWMS market such as IBM Maximo and Tango, Stanford said Nuvolo’s added security layer and cloud-native platform helps differentiate it in the market.

Growth ahead

Nuvolo plans to leverage its partnership with Insight to significantly grow the company in the years ahead, Stanford said. The 300-person company plans on 65 percent to 70 percent growth the next two to three years, hitting $100 million ARR by late next year, Stanford said.

While Nuvolo has customers in several categories, Stanford said life sciences and health care are the company’s largest verticals. Nuvolo currently works with more than 1,550 customers, and has a footprint in 65 percent of U.S. hospitals.

With Nuvolo’s platform expanding beyond the normal IWMS scope and into modern field service management and cybersecurity, Frankievich said, there is significant potential to expand in these large, fast-growing markets.

Stanford has no doubt that could set the company up for an IPO by 2023.

“We love ourselves as an independent company,” he said.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.

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Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/after-31m-raise-nuvolo-eyes-ipo-as-early-as-2023/

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