For our first EDUKWEST Europe Startup Profile we have chosen Bibblio, a social curation platform for educational content. Founded in 2014, Bibblio aims to simplify the access and sharing of educational resources on the Internet.
Among the early adopters of the platform are the Open University and several YouTube creators in the education and science space. Bibblio officially launched this week in time for the new academic year.
Introduce your startup and give a short description of what you are doing.
Bibblio bridges the divide between the rising costs of formal education and the abundance of free quality content to support further learning.
Designed and built to allow users to govern the way they learn, Bibblio features content published in all of the most popular formats, including YouTube, Vimeo, Slideshare, Soundcloud and many others.
With a single home for curation, users are no longer forced down single platform pathways, but are free to move across the internet within a single platform, discovering and collecting new content by browsing keywords, topics, fellow users or curated collections.
Who are the founders, how did you meet, what are your different roles in the startup.
Bibblio is founded by Mads Holmen, who after an early career in online media and advertising decided that his skills should be put to better use building something that could benefit millions.
Mads and Richard Simmonds meet during their time at Aol, and Rich decided to leave to with Mads and join as co-founder. Rich is busy bringing some much needed accessibility and user-friendliness to online learning.
Mads and Mike also meet at Goviral/Aol, but Mike has relocated to Argentina in the meantime, and are currently lead developer on the project from there. He will relocate to his native South Africa later this year and start an outsourced development office for Bibblio in Cape Town.
The last co-founder Roar Knüppel and Mads meet in London in 2008. Roar went home to complete an MA at the Danish Technical University. He finished it earlier this year and relocated to London to help get Bibblio of the ground. Roar engages with our academic and educational community, sources materials and manages Bibblio’s social channels on a daily basis.
What is the main problem in education that you aim to solve.
Bibblio is a web-based platform launched to fill a void in how people source and discover free online learning materials. With a single home for curation, users are no longer forced down single platform pathways, but are free to move across the internet within a single platform, discovering and collecting new content by browsing keywords, topics, fellow users or curated collections.
Leading academics and organisations are backing Bibblio.org to enhance the way we learn. The innovative and user-friendly platform has already been adopted by a spectrum of educational channels from the Open University through to leading YouTube education sensations Tyler DeWit and Kurzgesagt.
In which markets / regions are you active. What markets / regions are next.
Bibblio launched in Beta in the beginning of July.
In the 5 weeks since launch the platform have had over 5,000 Unique Users from 101 countries. The majority of users are from the Europe and the Americas, with US and UK being the biggest (app. 50%).
Bibblio is by nature globally accessible, and users already now upload content, titles and tags in any language they want.
Who is your target audience.
We have done a bunch of user surveys and discussions with educators and learners.
For educators it is a place to easily discover and curate quality content they may want to use in their teaching. As one educator said: “Bibblio is a great tool to pool together resources with and pass value on to learners, knowing that you are your own quality controller. Educators want great content that is not too prescribed and can fit into their teaching. Bibblio offers this in spades!”
Users are mostly adult, and are viewing Bibblio as beneficial to them to spend time with compared to Facebook, Youtube or Twitter. A social social learning platform. We are very pleased with that perception. However they say integrity and quality is key, which is why all content on Bibblio is manually edited and tagged.
How do you engage with your target audience. How do you convert them into users of your product.
We use a lot of social media and we have invested quite a lot in making a launch video.
At the moment we are reaching out to a lot of top creators, educational establishments and individual educators
What is your business model. How much does your product / service cost.
Bibblio is free to users, individual educators and organisations – and it always will be.
The platform intends to make a shared revenue when users go to accredited institutions as a result of their presence on Bibblio, and sign up for paid courses. The company also plan to offer premium services, allowing organisations and companies to use Bibblio as a learning management tool in their organisation for a small flat fee.
If you raised funding, how much did you raise. Who are your investors. If not, are you planning to raise funding.
We are still self-funded out of our own choice, but we will join an incubator program.
This brings a number of high wealth individuals with an interest in education and learning as minority investors. We plan to raise a proper SEIS/EIS funding round in Nov/Dec this year at the end of the incubator program.
Are there milestones you are especially proud of and would like to share.
At our beta launch in Google Campus we also launched a partnership with the Open University and already they host more than 1500 content pieces and 120 collections for learning on the platform.
We are also very proud to count some of the world’s largest education channels on Youtube as our partners already.
Last but not least Bibblio is attracting attention from the tech world too, and has been invited to follow in the footsteps of Dropbox, Vine and Coursera by joining the ALPHA program during the prestigious tech conference The Summit in November 2014.
What are the next steps in growing your startup.
i) Full PR release this week and next
ii) A new competition format and YT channel in September
iii) Incubation and ALPHA program at Summit
iv) Embeddable collections
v) Raise seed round and scale team