German startup StudySmarter has raised around €12.4 million in Series A funding to bring its award-winning educational app and learning platform globally. The round, which is the first step in StudySmarter’s plans to become the world’s central hub for learning, was led by global edtech-focused VC fund, Owl Ventures, with the notable B2C focused, New York-based, co-investor Left Lane Capital. Other investors include Lars Fjelsoe-Nielsen (formerly WhatsApp, Uber and Dropbox) and existing investor Dieter von Holtzbrinck Ventures (DvH Ventures)
Founded in 2018, StudySmarter is a lifelong learning platform that turns any kind of text or content into an interactive course, generated in part through the use of natural language processing. Learners, professionals and content publishers, regardless of age or topic, use StudySmarter to create their own content, such as lecture notes, summaries, flashcards, exercises and so on, anywhere in the world. StudySmarter’s bespoke algorithms automatically create interactive courses for these users to follow and enjoy even greater customization.
These algorithms learn how users interact with the platform, including which topics users may be struggling with and their unique learning styles, to build highly tailored courses. This includes automatically generating flashcards, creating a plan which adapts over time to prioritise areas where there are learning gaps, scheduling calendars based on exam dates, sending reminders to study, and rewarding learning with badges and achievements. The more people engage with their individual courses, the more specific and tailored the recommendations become.
What then elevates StudySmarter’s global appeal and unique usefulness is its community. All users can access more than 25 million pieces of content created by their peers and other users, as well as professional content, uploaded by verified educators and publishers. StudySmarter is able to recommend highly relevant content to users, or users can search, filter and select content based on their current needs.
Instead of having to download multiple apps for different parts of your course, StudySmarter offers it all in one place. StudySmarter data shows that 94% of learners who use the platform achieve better grades as a result.
“More than one in three students drop out because of challenges they face in their learning process,” said Maurice Khudhir, Co-Founder of StudySmarter. “That’s why we founded StudySmarter as an intelligent platform that supports learners individually throughout their entire learning journey. Our platform has the power to enable access to digital education and ensure successful outcomes for hundreds of millions of learners across the globe. With Owl and Left Lane, we have found the perfect partners who share our vision to become the world’s central hub for learning.”
Because StudySmarter focuses on the art of learning itself, rather than being bound by topics, sectors, industries or content types, it means anyone can use the platform to improve how they learn, regardless of what they’re learning. This includes traditional education, corporate training, hobbyists and more. For instance, StudySmarter has seen people using the platform to study for university or school (both public and private curriculums), as well private pilot licenses, fishing licences, driving tests and more. While companies and their employees have used the platform to learn new policy guidelines. The use-cases are endless.
As the number of diverse topics and niches increases, and the community grows, the StudySmarter platform gets more intelligent and comprehensive, ultimately covering every learning topic there is. Plus, because people can use StudySmarter throughout their entire school, college, university and working life, StudySmarter has data on their lifelong learning journey. It can then individualise learning experiences and tailor them even more acutely to their specific needs, learning styles and preferences.
In the span of one year, StudySmarter has gained more than 1 million new users, becoming the fastest growing learning platform for pupils and students in the Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (DACH) region. Since its launch, users have created and shared more than 25 million learning materials and this number grows by 2 million each month. StudySmarter is the digital content provider of many renowned publishers such as Pearson, and is used by global giants, such as Amazon and BMW, to reach potential employees and graduates via non-intrusive adverts.
StudySmarter’s viral growth – for every user that adds content, data shows an additional three users join the platform – combined with its comprehensive solution and efficacy were among the reasons why it was recently awarded best educational app worldwide by Reimagine Education Awards.
The capital will accelerate StudySmarter’s ambition to become the global platform for lifelong learning via further investments in technology, talent, and the global roll-out of the platform. With Owl Ventures and Left Lane, StudySmarter has strategic partners with unique expertise in scaling B2C EdTech startups.
“StudySmarter’s award-winning platform revolutionizes the learning journey and provides students the ability to be successful and achieve their learning goals,” said Jenny Wang, Principal at Owl Ventures. “Today, more than a quarter of all higher ed and A-level students in Germany are on StudySmarter’s platform and we’re incredibly excited to partner with this team as they continue to scale and expand into new markets. We cannot wait to see the impact StudySmarter will have on millions of students and lifelong learners around the world.”
“StudySmarter is further democratizing access to educational materials with a seamless user experience and rapidly expanding content catalogue. We are impressed with the dedication and grit of the founding team and are thrilled to partner with them to build a global ed-tech player. Working with European founders to build global powerhouses has been a core pillar of our strategy that we look forward to continuing”, said Vinny Pujji, Managing Partner at Left Lane Capital.