A new entrance in the Greek edtech market comes from Lithuanian startup Memby, following its closing of a €850K pre-seed round led by Change Ventures. Memby provides online tutorship services for high school students. Brighteye Ventures, MJJ Foundation, and angel investors Justas Janauskas and Martynas Gudonavičius also participated in the round. The company eyed Greece due to its high demand for extracurricular tutoring.
Student engagement outside traditional schooling
Edtech is changing the dynamics of learning in multiple ways, enhancing and complementing traditional education.
The school systems in the region, and especially Eastern and Southeast Europe, are known for vulnerabilities such as out of date curriculum, rigidity in teaching methods, as well as underpayment and burnout of teachers. One of the consequences of these gaps in traditional systems is that young people have a low engagement and trust in education, which in turn creates ripple effects throughout their professional development.
Startups in the space are introducing digital platforms and tools that can increase access to education and enable new forms of teaching and learning. Memby focuses on making tutorship more accessible as a complementary informal education solution for students who feel left behind. Their platform is built so that it enhances student engagement beyond both classroom and traditional tutoring experiences.
“The problem with most tutoring experiences is the cramming and mechanical memorization approach, which might help a pupil raise their marks, but only in the short term. In the long term, what a student needs to achieve is motivation, inspiration and guidance,” said Eimantas Bekėža, co-founder and CEO of Memby.
To address this, technology is used to identify and reward the educators in the platform who best connect with the students. Various tools are used to test the students’ understanding and engagement along the tutoring period. For instance, the platform embeds live group sessions where students can interact in real time and test their knowledge. This also helps tutors receive constructive feedback to further improve their delivery.
Memby started in 2020 from a desire to boost students’ confidence in their abilities by CEO and founder Eimantas, who is an educator himself. The other idea behind the business model is to make after-school learning affordable, which is why it offers much lower tutoring fees. With already over 4500 community members, the startup seems to have managed to align the passion for improving education with a successful business vision.
Following the investment round, Memby plans to expand to Greece and Poland in the short run, and to Italy and Slovakia in the second half of 2022.
Trends in the Greek edtech market
Entering the Greek edtech market is a strategic opportunity for the tutoring platform startup. Despite having a population eight times smaller than that of Germany, Greece has a bigger demand for extracurricular tutoring. Memby has already started local operations by building a learning lab for students affected by wildfires.
Memby will be joining an already solid ecosystem of local startup players, among which several focus on platforms for online learning. The pandemic years, particularly, triggered an explosive growth in the use of digital learning platforms.
For instance, Learnworlds, one of the veterans in offering professional trainers a platform for creating online courses, saw an explosive growth of 3x+ in revenues. Named the “Shopify for online course”, the company recently received €27 million in growth funding from Insight Partners for further help educators create online courses.
Athens-based 100mentors aims to fill another gap in the school system, by connecting top students with their 2500+ mentors who can assist them in making decisions along their learning and job-searching journey. Students connect with professionals from top employers such as McKinsey, Google, P&G, World Bank, or the UN, as well as international university programs. In 2015, the company received an investment from OpenFund, an EIF-backed venture capital fund in Greece.
Elsewhere in the Balkans, Romanian edtech startups are also riding the wave of increased digitalization, as we covered in a previous article. Read more about the solutions offered by edtech startups to the increased demand for online learning in our market analysis.