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Horváth Dorka, Karányi Dani, Bookr_forbes_fotó: Orbital Strangers

Bookr, the Hungarian edtech startup, receives over €2 million in funding; US here they come!

Bookr Kids, a reading-based early learning edutainment platform that is designed to engage and delight the youngest learners in reading, has disclosed €2 million in new funding and a further €2 million in convertible note. The round is led by Bonitas, a Private VC owned by Sándor Csányi (currently the richest Hungarian according to the Forbes World’s Billionaire list). Bookr Kids will use the financing to take their English-learning literacy program Bookr Class to the global education market with the companies’ goal to mitigate Covid-19’s impact on education.

Based on the original article of Forbes Hungary by Dóra Melis.

With the help of this investment, Bookr Kids will develop more innovative content and a more comprehensive curriculum, including 21st-century skills. To facilitate language acquisition, Bookr Kids’ animated interactive e-books and apps follow a researched methodology. The texts and activities are designed to support individual and classroom use as well. The illustrations and animations support the understanding of the texts, but they’re moderate enough not to distract users from reading. Moreover, the entertaining educational games help to highlight the main linguistic elements and features for a more focused, intentional learning and practice.

Besides literacy, the format itself will address 21st-century skills as well such as creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking.

Bookr Class has been recognized during the school closure as an official textbook in Hungary and is now used by 100k Hungarian students. The company has also educational partners in Turkey, Greece, South Korea, Singapore, Germany and in the US. Their revenue for the previous year was €500k, which they predict will increase to around €1 million in 2020.

Dorka Horváth and Dani Karányi, Bookr Kids-cofounders.

During quarantine, the Bookr Kids founders were experiencing the most intense time in the life of the company. After a year of negotiations, a partnership agreement was signed with one of the most prestigious textbook publishers in the world, the Oxford University Press, which means the Bookr team had the opportunity to digitalize and reimagine classic tales such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, adapted for the purpose of teaching English.

After the Estonian Salto Camp, Bookr team are participating in another accelerator program for startups: within the framework of Kickstart Innovation, they have planned a Swiss pilot in association with Stiftung Mercator, an independent foundation working on educating European children with emphasis on assisting underprivileged learners.

Next in line for expansion is the USA: Bookr is currently developing a reading platform for the publishing house Albert Whitman & Co. (owner of the world known Boxcar series), as well as an educational platform for schools and families.

“This cooperation is very important to us. We are sharing the same goal of providing digital education which supports literacy in a way that is accessible for children so they can have more quality screen time.” – founder and CEO Dorka Horvath new media expert explains.

Bookr Kids has come a long way. They began by digitizing Hungarian existing bestsellers and gradually transitioned into edtech. They teamed up with international education experts like former Lego Executive Director Brian Baptista or Zoltan Pompor (PhD) President of HUBBY to add functions to their animated stories that cultivate reading and development skills.

The company’s current shareholders according to a 2019 report are: Bookr Digital (representing the founders with 43.4% of shares), Móra Publishing Ltd. (biggest Children’s Book Publishers in Hungary owns 18.2%), Péter Balogh’s – long time CEO of NNG (4.2%), Lombard Portfolio Ltd. (4.2%) and Hiventures (30%). How ownership has changed with the current round of funding was not disclosed by either party.

Cover photo credit: Forbes Hungary / The Orbital Strangers Project

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