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East Ventures Leads IDR 233 Billion of Funding for Geniebook


Geniebook, a Singapore-based edtech startup received series A funding of $16.6 million or around IDR 233 billion led by East Ventures through Growth Fund and Lightspeed Ventures Partners. This funding will be used to increase the number of teams.

A number of prominent angel investors include John Danner (Dunce Capital), Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal (Snapdeal), Gaurav Munjal and Roman Saini (Unacademy), Linh Pham Giang (Hocmai), Alvin Tse (Xiaomi), as well as several senior executives from the company.

Leading companies in Southeast Asia, such as Grab, Gojek, and Shopee, were also involved in the funding. Previously, this startup had pocketed a $1.1 million pre-series A funding round in 2019 from Apricot Capital.

Since early 2019, Geniebook has achieved revenue growth of over 2,000% with a rapidly growing user base of over 150,000 in Southeast Asia. In Vietnam alone, revenue grew 3 times compared to 2020.

The Singapore-headquartered company continues to fly the flag for Singaporean education regionally with offices located in Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Geniebook Founded in 2017

For information, Geniebook was founded in 2017 by Neo Zhizong and Alicia Cheong. This platform offers a range of online learning products through personalization by combining blended learning experiences according to student needs.

The subjects provided include English, mathematics, and natural sciences (IPA). The company claims to have achieved more than 2000% revenue growth with a user base of 150,000 in Southeast Asia.

Currently, the Singapore-based company will continue to expand its business regionally in Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Geniebook CEO & Co-founder Neo Zhizhong said he would scale the team for a number of strategic positions, from the curriculum, engineering, product, to growth to maximize the online learning experience. To date, Geniebook already has 350 employees worldwide.

“We will continue to innovate on existing Geniebook products. For example, GenieSmart or personalized worksheets with AI, GenieClass or teaching and learning spaces through online classes, and GenieAsk which allows students to chat and receive help from experienced teachers in real-time,” he said in an official statement.

Geniebook COO & Co-founder Alicia Cheong added, “We are ready to take the leap to the next growth line with the addition of a new team, product innovation, and a strong focus on providing a more personalized learning experience supported by technology.”

Meanwhile, East Ventures Managing Partner Roderick Purwana revealed, the edtech platform played an important role and accelerated the offering of their solutions to users in line with the Covid-19 pandemic situation in its second year.

His party also assessed that Geniebook has shown a strong appeal in foreign markets, one of which is Vietnam, which has experienced growth of up to three times compared to last year.

Pandemic is a Moment for Edtech

Various edtech players in Southeast Asia continue to take advantage of the Covid-19 situation as a momentum to accelerate product and business growth going forward. Especially in Indonesia, face-to-face teaching and learning activities (KBM) in new schools have been opened gradually.

On a separate occasion recently, East Ventures Co-founder and Managing Partner Willson Weather revealed how the pandemic has accelerated digital adoption and boosted investment in Indonesia’s digital sector.

Healthtech and edtech are two of the digital sectors that have played a significant role since the pandemic first took place. This impact is also reflected in the increase in services from the East Ventures portfolio, namely Ruangguru, with an increase in the number of users by up to 50%.

In addition, Willson highlighted how the pandemic has boosted the investment climate in Indonesia from the previous $3.4 million in 2020 to $4.9 million in the third quarter of 2021.

“This increase was identified because consumer behavior changed to digital-based or online behavior. All investors became more aggressive and optimistic because digital acceleration happened before anything else,” said Willson.