The educational company iziBAC, which offers an alternative preparation experience for the Baccalaureate exam through a mobile game experience, plans to close a round of funding worth €160,000 to continue the development effort. iziBAC has reached an agreement for almost half the size of the round with a private investor; the difference of 100,000 is to be an opportunity for investors in the SeedBlink crowdfunding platform network. The listing on SeedBlink will take place on December 8th.
The company, founded in 2017, invested by bootstrapping over 250,000 euros in the development of its product and managed to reach 42,000 downloads and over 3000 active users per month.
“I have been a teacher for more than 8 years and in my career I have learned that the best educational results are obtained when the student is relaxed and completely engaged in the learning experience. And this is most easily achieved through a game experience. Studies show that the use of carefully calibrated game mechanics leads to a dramatic increase in information retention (by up to 90%) and a massive increase in student engagement (by 70%). We want to change the paradigm in education and the perspective on mobile games – far from being a distraction from learning, educational games can be its foundation. Learning can be fun.” – says Raluca Stratulat, the founder of the project.
Currently, the company has 8 members, with complementary expertise, from software development, educational expertise, game design, etc. To obtain the educational content, the iziBAC team collaborated with more than 30 nationally renowned teachers to provide students with quizzes and other educational resources. Using a dedicated photo-video studio for this purpose, the company actively collaborates with teachers to create captivating audio and video lessons, designed according to the concept of “edutainment” – useful information, presented in a dynamic and captivating format.
“There are still many baccalaureate candidates traumatized by the idea of learning Romanian. They buy a book of ready-made essays and then get scared that they have to learn whole sentences from which they don’t understand much. I am confident that iziBAC offers high school students logical, short, and clear schemes, with what is essential to know in order to successfully pass this exam. In addition to the schemes, there are sets of training questions to more easily recap the main ideas that their essays should contain.” – Genoveva Cerchez, Romanian language teacher, collaborator of the iziBAC project
In addition to preparation for the Baccalaureate, iziBAC also offers non-formal education courses that cover gaps in the official curriculum on preparing adolescents for the real world, courses such as financial education, entrepreneurship, civic education, etc. These are carried out in partnership with nationally renowned entities, such as the Entrepreneurship Academy, the School of Values, etc.
“Our mission is to serve the educational needs of high school students. This translates into business objectives such as increasing the sales funnel, retention, and user satisfaction but especially in monetizing the value offered by premium features. Our model is freemium, in which we will always provide value for the free user, but we will try to engage a learning economy, in which to involve the most capable teachers and even students, in the spirit of the concept of peer to peer learning – we want to we create a community of young people who learn, play and discover together the beauty of knowledge.” – says Adrian Stratulat, CBDO iziBAC.
The proceeds will be used to further the development effort, through the implementation of key features such as a multiplayer game mode, an audio and video lesson platform, the expansion of game mechanics, the development of features for aggregating a learning community, and integrating an AI-based psychometric testing system in partnership with Brio, another company that successfully launched on the SeedBlink platform.
“Globally, only 5% of the education sector is digitized, even in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted these shortcomings and is forcing us to digitize. The Edtech sector is growing dramatically – 16.3% CAGR, growing 2.5 times by 2025 to reach $ 404 billion. It is time to appreciate both the need for sectoral transformation and the investment opportunity in education.” – says Adrian Stratulat
“We are very happy to continue the series of listings in the field of ed-tech, with a startup with a lot of positive energy, which already attracts students to the learning process through innovative methods of gamification. Given that algorithms can be exported to other education systems, we hope to support a Romanian company to revolutionize the learning process internationally”, says Andrei Dudoiu, co-fondator and CEO SeedBlink.
International expansion plans on the SAT preparation market.
The SAT is a standardized exam used for admission to higher education institutions in the United States. It is given annually by 2.2 million students in the US and a total of 3 million internationally in 7,000 centers in 170 countries. Its global character, as well as the drastic competition to reach the Ivy League (the most appreciated universities in the USA) creates a market conducive to disruption through innovation. The market size was $ 6.5 billion in 2019 and sustained growth is expected in the coming years.
“With the lessons gathered in Romania, we plan to launch a variant of iziBAC dedicated to offering a game-based learning experience for the SAT exam. To create the curriculum we will collaborate with teachers in the top 5 worldwide on the College Board. It’s an extremely interesting market, with some parents paying up to $ 10,000 to prepare their child.” – says Raluca Stratulat.