BOOKR, the Hungarian edtech startup working for literacy, receives over €2 million in funding

BOOKR Kids, a reading-based early learning ‘edu-tainment’ company has disclosed €2 million in new funding and a further €2 million in convertible note. The round is led by Bonitas, a private VC owned by billionaire Sándor Csányi. BOOKR Kids will use the financing to take their English-learning literacy programme BOOKR Class to the global education market, and boost further the company goal of mitigating COVID-19’s impact on education.

The past year has been a turning point for BOOKR Kids, as much as for other edtech players. The importance of digital educational materials has increased enormously, so the company, creating interactive animated story books with educational games, did not stop for a moment. BOOKR Class has also been recognized during school closure as an official textbook in Hungary and is now used by 100K Hungarian students. 

With the help of this investment, BOOKR Kids will develop more innovative content and a more comprehensive curriculum, including 21st-century skills. To facilitate language acquisition, BOOKR Kids’ animated interactive e-books and apps follow a researched methodology. The texts and activities are designed to support individual and classroom use as well. The illustrations and animations support the understanding of the texts, but they’re moderate enough not to distract users from reading. Moreover, the entertaining educational games help to highlight the main linguistic elements and features for a more focused, intentional learning and practice. Besides literacy, the format itself will address 21st-century skills as well such as creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking. 

“Presential and online education will continue merging, and a hybrid model will be the new norm of the future. Our mission is providing high quality educational content which supports literacy in a way that is accessible for children so they can have more quality screen time,” said founder and CEO Dorka Horvath. 

After a year of negotiation, they started working with Oxford University Press, one of the world’s best-known textbook publishers, allowing BOOKR to digitize and redraw a selection of classic stories specially adapted for English learning, such as Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Their next stop is the US: BOOKR is currently developing a digital library app for the publishing house Albert Whitman & Co. (owner of the world known Boxcar series), as well as an educational platform for schools and families.

BOOKR Kids has come a long way since its founding in 2015. They began by digitizing Hungarian existing bestsellers and gradually transitioned into edtech. They teamed up with international education experts like former LEGO Executive Director, Brian Baptista, and Zoltan Pompor (PhD), President of HUBBY, to add functions to their animated stories that cultivate reading and development skills.

The company currently has educational partners in Turkey, Greece, Spain, South Korea, Singapore, Germany and in the US but is looking to expand to the MENA and LATAM region. Their revenue for the previous year was €500K, which they predict will increase to around €1 million in 2020.