The Polish edtech startup Novakid, an online educational platform for children 4-12 years old, has announced raising €1.3 million from Venture firm LETA Capital together with the South Korean VC BonAngels.
Novakid, founded in 2017 by Russian entrepreneur Maxim Azarov, is an online English language school aimed at children aged 4-12 years, where all qualified teachers are native speakers. Online lessons are taught using an in-house built Web platform, which is enhanced with virtual reality and gamification technologies in order to provide children with full immersion during the process of language learning. At the same time, the company utilizes a ‘massively multiplayer online role-playing game’ model (MMORPG), which allows students to interact with each other during the learning process and rewards with personal ‘achievements’, while teachers act as both participants and moderators. The core of its platform is a unique automated method of evaluating the student’s progress using machine learning based on more than 900 parameters, A/I testing, and other big-data components allowing to get precise indicators of learning performance anytime and personalize the programme to each student.
Currently, Krakow-based Novakid provides services to students from 36 countries, including Poland, Russia, Spain, Germany and Turkey. One of the fundamental teaching principles of Novakid is to adhere to the local cultural diversity of each region. Employing teachers with various ethno-cultural backgrounds, Novakid promotes the most comfortable learning experience for both students and their parents, making sure that teachers comply with local ethical norms and standards.
This is the second fundraising for Novakid, having now raised a total of €1.9 million. The new funds will be spent on product improvement, as well as further geographical expansion. Novakid’s annual turnover exceeded €1.8 million in 2019, tripling from the previous year, and the company plans to maintain the same growth trajectory in 2020.
“This is our fourth investment in a fast-growing and promising market of new educational technologies,” says Alexander Chachava, managing partner of LETA Capital. “Virtualization of the educational process, the use of machine learning to create and personalize lessons to each student, gamification are among the latest edtech trends which are already in high demand on a global scale. In order to build successful international edtech businesses, companies need to invest not only in technological disruption but also in better understanding of the human component of a teacher-student interaction. Novakid methodologies take into account both of these components, which is why, in my opinion, they are able to demonstrate such rapid growth on the international markets.”
“An overall demand for learning foreign languages online is a long-term and sustainable trend,” says Maxim Azarov, co-founder and CEO of Novakid. “However, most of the existing tools, such as giving lessons via Skype or other look-alike online services, are essentially just a way to make traditional lessons remote. In order to achieve truly breakthrough results, it is necessary to employ all the possibilities of modern technologies. That is why we designed our own teaching methodology, developed an online platform, and implemented thought-out processes for vetting, training, and evaluating teachers. This allowed us to encourage and motivate children, immerse them in educational activities, and, ultimately, ensure a sustained high level of foreign language learning – in each of the countries where our company operates.”