Co-investor for AI-powered one-stop solution for students and young professionals

29 september 2021

Company description:

This startup is a dedicated AI-powered one-stop solution for students and young professionals aged 16 to 28 to connect, collaborate and communicate with each other based on common academic, career and other interests for identifying learning & work opportunities that meet their needs. This startup provides a place where students will find their way.

Education and early career is a journey where a student has multiple touch points. While the startup starts off as a global student community, their vision is to become a virtual eco-system that matches them to various opportunities based on their needs. They will mature into a Global Education Market Network – a networking platform with multiple marketplaces serving the needs of students, young professionals and the education industry stakeholders including institutions, education consultants, recruiters, financial aid/loans, housing, digital learning and more.

The mission of this startup is to unite the younger generation on one platform to support each other and empower them with a network, knowledge and opportunities for making better academic and career decisions. They are on their way to reaching with this mission since they are already on the watchlist of the EU-Startups 2021. 

The startup is an information society of students, for students to “find their way”! Every year a new generation of students face the same journey, and at differing moments as academic schedules vary between study, institution and location. Student journeys don’t have to be solo experiences. They should intertwine and support each other. Some students are further along their journey, others are just beginning. Using technology, this startup draws these journeys together as decisions develop into multiple touchpoints. These touchpoints multiply and overlap, are the social graph that networks millions of students. Therefore this startup focusses on the 16-28 age group comprising high school, undergrad students, recent graduates and youngprofessionals.

The startup was brought to the Netherlands with the support of a Dutch ROM and is headquartered at The Hague Tech. The investment company is registered in Netherlands in Dec 2020 with an innovation BV (vision to be innovation box company) and an operations company were incorporated in March 2021. The Indian Technologies Company was incorporated in April 2021 for mobilizing the technology, engineering and Indian market requirements. 

 

Business Model:

The startup has tailored globally successful revenue models (LinkedIn, Facebook, Airbnb etc.) and packaged it into a diverse revenue stream. A diversified revenue model like theirs fosters a resilient business even if external factors impacts one part of the industry. As an example, while universities are struggling due to the pandemic, digital learning is growing at a rapid rate.

The startup forecasts revenue generation will begin in Q1 2022. Some of their revenue models include freemium and premium subscription revenue from users, convenience fees from market places, SaaS based b2b revenue solutions, advertising and affiliate partner revenue sharing agreements. Revenue will begin in Q1 2022 and keep expanding into these diverse streams as they release products as per the roadmap. Having such a diverse business model keeps them resilient and fairly safe from external disruptions such as Covid.

 

Customer type / profile:

This startup will be a marketplace-networking platform. Their products include B2B/B2C/B2B2C/B2C2C customer base as they release new product modules and features. Their beta version of the platform was launched as a web version in March 2021 and without any marketing initiatives. After the launch of their beta version they have registered users aged 16-28 from 60+ countries along with more than 50+ Student Associations partners across 30 countries who believe in the vision of this platform being the meeting point for students and young professionals.

According to UNESCO, the youth population is growing in numbers. There are an estimated 3 billion people under the age of 25 of which 1.3 billion, growing to 1.5 billion, people are in the age range of 15-25. Therefore there is a potential of another 1.5 billion aged under 15 that will need the service of this platform as they progress into higher secondary education and beyond.

 

Preferable investor type:

Angel investor, Venture Capitalist and/or Incubator/accelerator

Competencies needed from an investor: Hiring & Recruitment, Education.

USP’s:

  • The startup is the first dedicated education industry dedicated networking platform for students, young professionals and industry service providers.
  • They use technology to help students along this journey personalizing their journey based on their academic and career interests.
  • They are the first one-stop solution for students and young professionals.
  • They are largely a product-driven organization with proprietary technology for most of their products.
  • They are being adopted by students as their champion proof of which is having over 50+ student association partners in 30+ countries in less than 4 months of beta release and over 2500 users across 60+ countries in that short span of time without spending a cent on marketing. 

 

Capital amount needed:

€500.000,- (total required capital for this funding round is €1.000.000 and co-investor already committed €500.000)

 

 

Investment need:

The total investment of €1.000.000,- is used for talent (€400k), Marketing (€250k), Operations (€150k), Runway reserves (€200k).

 

Sector:

B2B Software, B2C Software and Platform

Phase:

Seed

Number of founders:

4

Current number of employees:

5-25

Monthly turnover (current):

0

 

Turnover (forecast) next 12 months:

€1.300.000,-

 

Turnover (forecast) months 13 – 24:

€5.000.000,-

Current monthly expenses:

€35.000,-

Committed funding:

€500.000,-

There has been a pre-seed round of $300.000 committed by an external business angel.

The founder has funded $75.000 of his own money.

About the founding team

The CEO (MBA, CPA) has over 20 years’ experience in assurance, consulting, investment banking, marketing & entrepreneurship. (PwC, Mars Inc., Lehman Brothers)

The Group CTO (masters Computer Applications/b.tech) is a hands-on technologist with over 20 years’ experience leading tech, strategy and product for large companies. Passionate about technology that helps in improving people’s lives. (ESPN, Reliance Jio)

The Head of Product and Innovation has 20+ years’ experience in console and online gaming development with a focus on user experience and interface (Playstation, Wii, Xbox games development).

Their advisor and head of partnership has over 20+ years experience working with govt. agencies & startups in Marketing, PR and recruitment. (Pension Fund, Netherland Werkt, Eduvelopment).

Their ​Big Data & AI/ML leader has over 20 years of experience in platform and product development. Currently leading 200+ resources in the Big Data and ML platform setup of large Fortune 25 media company in USA. MRN will officially join in 2022. Work history hidden on request. Includes Fortune top 50 companies).

Other relevant information:

Next funding round is expected in Q3 2022

The startup furthermore has an advisory board in marketing & sales

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