StudyTube, an online study aid for students, today announced it has raised a new funding round of EUR500k from HenQ Invest. StudyTube is a Dutch startup that offers a combination of practice tests, additional materials and online lectures to help university students prepare for their exams. The company, based in Amsterdam but founded in Maastricht, currently offers services for students in economics and law, but is looking to expand its offering.
The investment by HenQ follows an earlier pre-seed investment by LIOF (Limburg focussed startup stimulator), which was raised upon founding the company. LIOF’s shares have already been bought back by the founders, who maintain a majority stake in StudyTube after the recent round. HenQ is a small Dutch venture capital firm that focusses on high growth technology startups .
StudyTube was founded by Homam Karimi and Gerhard Riphagen to improve university education. Karimi: “The traditional educational model doesn’t properly function anymore”. The team is currently working to expand beyond its first two verticals, where it has been successful. Since October 2012 they state 10,000 out of the total 25,000 law students have created a profile on the site, of whom a large part pay the monthly EUR9.99 fee for premium use. Paired with the sponsorship received from a number of large law firms the startup is at a run rate of a couple of hundreds of thousands of euros.
Karimi and Riphagen have such confidence in the quality of their service that they offer paying members refunds if they fail an exam, while StudyTube had advised them that they were ready to pass. Students receive EUR20.00 (the equivalent of two months subscription) from StudyTube in such a situation. A nice gesture, yet failing the exam could obviously have more severe consequences for the student involved.
Besides expanding to different master and or bachelor programs the founders are also looking to open up their platform as a marketplace in the future. They would provide access to universities, publishers and professional education institutions on the basis of a shared revenue model. This will allow them to focus on the scalable part of the business, the technology, while their partners could take care of the content.