GoStudent is raising tens of millions of dollars to integrate AI into its tutoring platform

The edtech GoStudent is announcing a $95 million fundraising this Friday. The startup is present in 15 countries, including France, the UK and Austria, where it has been based since its founding in 2016, and has created a private tutoring and academic support platform that connects teachers and students. A promising sector, coupled with ambitious development projects, which has recently interested many investors.

For this fundraising, the company's two co-founders turned to Deutsche Bank, Left Lane Capital, DN Capital, Coatue and SoftBank Vision Fund 2. Felix Ohswald, general manager of GoStudent, told L'Usine Digitale that the fundraising was completed both in equity as well as in debt capital “about the same” He does not want to name the exact amounts.

“Learning content generated by AI”

In 2021, when the startup raised $70 million, its executives' main goals were to conquer new markets and modernize its services. This time Felix Ohswald names the integration of artificial intelligence as one of the two main points of interest. According to one company estimate, the global AI market in education will reach $10 billion to $20 billion in 2017.

The artificial intelligence in question here will serve on two different levels. On the one hand, with GoStudent employees who, through the services, have tailored artificial intelligence tools to improve their productivity and therefore the company's profitability. On the other hand, and this is undoubtedly the most ambitious project of Felix Ohswald and his colleague Gregor Müller, generative AI is used in the educational process itself.

“We can provide teachers with tools to better prepare lessons, automatically grade exercises, and have learning content generated by AI and personalized for children.”, explains the general director of the Austrian company. In addition to developing a lesson plan generator that helps teachers save time, GoStudent's long-term goal is to develop virtual teachers who can use artificial intelligence and teach students in a personalized way.

Campus in preparation

But education cannot be completely virtual, believes Felix Ohswald. The second major project that GoStudent wants to focus on thanks to its new resources is the hybridization of private lessons: on the one hand, lessons online from the around 23,000 teachers listed on the platform or, in the future, virtually; on the other hand, face-to-face teaching in physical infrastructures, which the start-up is currently imagining.

Testing of this hybrid model begins in Germany and Austria, where online and offline learning solutions are offered for children and their parents. Face-to-face classes in groups or via GoVR, GoStudent's virtual reality language learning platform, will also take place in physical spaces. “We need to think of these offline places as social centers where children meet and learn together.”comments Felix Ohswald and cites Harvard University, its online courses, but also its central campus as an example.

Therefore, there is a need for the startup to create its own learning spaces. “We will have physical infrastructure in the future”, continues its co-founder. At this point, no construction or acquisition project for an existing building has been confirmed, but Felix Ohswald says he wants to keep an eye on the opportunities that arise in countries important to GoStudent such as France, Great Britain, Italy and Spain.

A few months after a thousand layoffs

However, Germany and Austria, where the company began operations, remain its main markets. they show “very good profitability” and were clearly GoStudent's advantage in seeking new liquidity from various investors, especially in a difficult environment for startups looking to raise money.

“Because we were able to show that our core and most mature market was clearly profitable, we were able to convince a partner like Deutsche Bank that we were willing to take on debt.”, explains Felix Ohswald. This is despite a growth adjustment carried out last year, the discontinuation of “Markets that didn’t work as well as others” and the dismissal of half of the workforce, i.e. a thousand employees.

With their new fundraising campaign, GoStudent leaders are once again dreaming of limitless growth. And with the advent of generative artificial intelligence, predict profound changes in the world of educational technology, but also traditional education.

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