Singapore-based Geniebook’s customized studying platform raises $16.6M Sequence A – TechCrunch



Based in 2017, Geniebook is a Singapore-based studying platform that makes use of a mixture of machine studying and human teacheres to personalize every scholar’s training. The corporate introduced in the present day it has raised $16.6 million in Sequence A funding led by East Ventures and Lightspeed Enterprise Companions, with participation by angel traders together with John Danner, founding father of Dunce Capital; Gaurav Munjal and Roman Saini, founders of Indian edtech unicorn Unacademy; Snapdeal founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal; and senior executives from Seize, Shopee and Gojek.
Geniebook’s founders say it’s worthwhile, and its income has grown over 2,000% because the starting of 2019. It now has a person base of 150,000 college students, and 350 staff throughout workplaces in Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Most of Geniebook’s college students are based mostly in Singapore and Vietnam, and it plans to make use of a part of its funding to proceed rising in these markets earlier than specializing in different Southeast Asian international locations. The startup’s Sequence A brings its whole raised to about $18 million. Geniebook’s final spherical of funding was a $1.1 million pre-Sequence A spherical in 2019 from Apricot Capital.
Geniebook’s affords English, arithmetic and science programs based mostly on Singapore’s nationwide curriculum for main and secondary faculty college students. The platform’s three core options are GenieSmart, or observe sheets personalized for college students with AI-based tech; dwell on-line lessons that may host as much as 900 college students at a time; and GenieAsk, the place a instructor and instructing assistant are assigned to teams of fifty college students for sophistication discussions and assist.
Geniebook co-founders Neo Zhizhong and Alicia Cheong
The startup was based by Neo Zhizhong and Alicia Cheong, who met whereas they have been in college. Cheong tutored math, Neo tutored science and the 2 usually referred college students to at least one one other. Finally, they determined to arrange a brick-and-mortar tutoring middle, which rapidly turned worthwhile. Whereas determining easy methods to scale the middle, the 2 began incorporating tech components into lessons, earlier than deciding to make the enterprise totally on-line in 2017. “We realized expertise can change the best way lecturers educate and college students study,” Neo mentioned.
Although Geniebook turned a web-based platform nicely earlier than the beginning of the pandemic, Neo mentioned COVID-19 created much more consciousness amongst dad and mom and college students. “Southeast Asia is a $60 billion marketplace for non-public training and the market out of the blue turned a $60 billion marketplace for on-line training.” As college students received used to live-streaming lessons, they began to anticipate extra customized and interactive content material, he added.
As an alternative of generic worksheets, every scholar’s homework is personalized by GenieSmart, which makes use of a neural community to choose questions based mostly on their strengths and weaknesses, in order that they don’t need to reply questions on ideas they’re already comfy with. The communities led by instructor/instructing assistant pairs are one other technique to maintain college students motivated. Neo mentioned Geniebooks’ personalization options is among the methods it differentiates from different studying platforms like Koobits and Famous person Trainer.
“One of many questions any educator must reply is ‘how can we create an surroundings that engages a neighborhood of learners by themselves,’ so educators don’t need to maintain nagging learners, as a result of then youngsters will simply be like ‘please don’t discuss to me anymore,’” mentioned Neo.
In Geniebook’s communities, college students are inspired to work collectively, with lecturers and instructing assistants offering studying content material, steering and corrections. College students are additionally rewarded with factors for finishing worksheets or answering questions accurately that may be redeemed for issues like Roblox’s digital forex and Apple App Retailer credit (although some save them as much as get vacation presents for his or her dad and mom).
Every instructor works with a number of communities of scholars. To assist them because the platform scales up, Geniebook will implement an AI chat operate to reply fundamental and frequently-asked questions.
Geniebook’s new funding might be used to rent for management roles, construct its product improvement crew and market enlargement.
In an announcement in regards to the funding, Lightspeed companion Dev Share mentioned, “The Southeast Asia area has a number of international locations with exam-driven cultures the place Geniebook’s worksheets and cohort-based dwell studying strategy delivers a premium expertise with measurable enchancment in scholar outcomes.”