Softbank and Tencent are among the leading investors in Europe’s first Edtech Unicorn, GoStudent.
Vienna’s five-year-old start-up, GoStudent has received funding of $244 million from one of its primary investors SoftBank and Tencent. Consequently, GoStudent has been hailed as the first Edtech unicorn in Europe, which is estimated at $1.7 billion.
A unicorn is a private company that is priced over $1 billion. The term Unicorn is majorly attributed to ‘startups’; i.e they neither incorporate post-exits/procured firms nor the mature incumbents. As of 2021, 26 EdTech Unicorns across the globe have comprehensively raised over $16 billion of overall investment from the previous ten years and are presently estimated at $79 billion.
The digital school which connects students to teachers in a virtual learning environment has been pitted against the Norweigan competitor Kahoot which was priced at $1 billion, but this won’t be taken into consideration as the firm went public two years ago.
The venture-backed Edtech platform was started by Felix Ohswald in 2016. In an interview, the 25-year-old founder stated his love for Mathematics. His inspiration was his grandfather who took his math classes, and ‘educated in a way that was applicable in real life.’ The young entrepreneur believes that the major hurdle in the process of teaching is the dearth of great teachers.
GoStudent is an online K-12 Edtech platform, wherein students can find tutors and avail their lessons. The home page of GoStudent’s website presents testimonials by students and teachers. The all-in-one platform enables you to schedule sessions, replace tutors and carry out the payment on the same site. GoStudent sessions are priced between $20 to $32 monthly.
The website boasts of a staggering percentage of 95% success rates, with 10,000 pupils enrolled in the sessions. It has more than 1500 teachers administering about 14 subjects. The firm, which is as of today conducting 400,000 classes a month, is set to skyrocket its services to 800,000 by the end of 2021. Since the acceptance rate to become a teacher is hard, only 8% of the applicants actually get selected.
A few months ago, GoStudent was entangled in contention when a sexagenerian who was prohibited from teaching due to a case of sexual harassment, was found conducting classes on the website. Soon after, the person was removed from the site when the company became conscious of his identity.
The Austria-based startup has now expanded to 18 countries, with a 700% year-on-year increment. Hoping to increase the number of its employees, it is expected to reach 10,000 teachers by the end of the year. The firm is also chalking out a plan to expand its services to Mexico and Canada. With the pandemic pushing the students to continue their education remotely, online teaching sites are seeing a drastic increase in demand for their services.