Berlin-based Knowunity has raised €10 million in a Series A round co-led by Redalpine and Stride. Existing investors including Project A and the founders of Booking.com and Preply, as well as World Cup-winning footballer Mario Götze also participated in the round.
The funding will be used to further drive product development as well as market expansion efforts, beginning with Italy and the UK. To this end, the startup aims to augment the team size from 60 to 100 by year’s end.
For the past two hundred years (give or take), the “modern” education system has put us all through the teeth of its grinder and spit out a reasonable facsimile of an educated individual. The system has adapted over time but some habits die hard. Particularly those of study habits carved into stone that we’re all supposed to adhere to, “Because I said so!”
However, the generation born between 1997 and 2012, a.k.a. Gen Z is the first group of students and individuals that have never known a world without instant answers at their fingertips and has grown up with an always-connected mentality. With this in mind, why should they study the same way I did?
While the education system and methodologies have allowances for the fact that 80% of Gen Z prefer to make studying a collaborative effort, be it via video chat, messaging, or any other variety of communications tools, many of these edtech aids tend to be teacher-led and institutionally focused (no real difference between way back when and now), or a mishmash of various tools and platforms all designed with the dopamine hook baked into traditional social media. Not exactly the most conducive to learning.
In the landscape between the old and the they-got-it-wrong, lies Berlin-based Knowunity.
Offering students a clean and tidy UX in their own launguage, the platform is centred entirely around peer-to-peer learning, with top performers being granted access to create and publish their own content for the benefit of others.
The platform now boasts some 300,000+ study notes from every subject imaginable from grade 5 onwards.
Quite simply, Knowunity is a study mechanism for today’s students built by today’s students, and it not only resonates with its target audience, but it’s delivering on its promise to make education more accessible.
Launched in 2020 by then 18-year-old CEO and co-founder Benedict Kurz, Knowunity has been downloaded over 2.4 million times, is the number 1 learning app in Germany with over 20,000 ratings, and has been steadily growing since day one.
After launching in Austria and Switzerland, the beginning of the year saw the startup enter the French market, amassing some 300,000 Gen Z users, and as of late April, 60,000+ Polish students have picked up what Knowunity is laying down.
“From the first moment we met Benedict and the founding team, we knew we had an exceptionally talented group in front of us,” commented recently appointed Partner at Stride.vc Gabbi Cahane. “Considering the whole founding team was sitting in the classroom less than two years ago, what they’ve achieved to date is outstanding. Their unique set of insights and ability to execute on them means they’ve found a way to ‘crack the code’ for this audience and this problem. Thanks to the power of UGC and strong network effects, Knowunity is well placed to replicate its early traction internationally and become the dominant category player - globally. This is a bet on a team with exceptional raw talent that is attempting to drag an antiquated education system into the light of the 21st century. If this works, Knowunity can define an entirely new category of edtech for Gen Z.”