Move to Dublin after successful fundraising:
$1.3m investment to meet growing demand for platform and focus on key Irish market
BlikBook, the online engagement platform for higher education lecturers and students, today announces a new round of financing, worth $1.3 million (€1m), to support the significant growth of the business. This helps support a move to Dublin, where the company can take advantage of the high quality Irish graduate market as well as having a solid base to focus on the promising Irish tertiary education market.
Barnaby Voss, co-founder and Commercial Director said:
“With the highest proportion of graduates in the workforce in Europe, Ireland was an obvious choice for a company like BlikBook. The high quality of universities here means that there is deep talent pool so we expect to be able to hire great people to help grow the business. Plus, the Irish higher education market shares many characteristics with the UK’s so universities here will be able to enjoy our platform as much as our existing customers in the UK.”
The round was led by Leaf Investments alongside Delta Partners, investing from its Bank of Ireland Start-up and Emerging Sectors Fund, and Enterprise Ireland. Existing investors Forward Investment Partners also participated, taking the opportunity to build on their original investment in BlikBook. This round takes the total funds raised since launch to over $2m (€1.5m).
BlikBook will use the proceeds of this round to invest across the business, establishing its headquarters in Dublin and also strengthening the London team. BlikBook will be looking to invest in its business development, community management and tech development team in both Dublin and London. BlikBook is looking to make 7 hires to its Dublin team, expanding the office there to approximately 10 people.
Since launching in 2010, BlikBook has seen its usage figures double with each semester. In the recent Summer Term, BlikBook was used in select courses at a third of UK and Irish universities, and at half of the top 30 UK universities, with students using the platform for 1.5 to 3 hours per session on average two to three times a week.
BlikBook’s platform enables lecturers and students to interact and share questions and answers. Lecturers use the platform to manage questions and student engagement outside of the lecture theatre whilst students use it for further academic help from their lecturer and fellow students. For students, the benefits include an intelligent recommendation engine with relevant questions and answers from similar users and the ability to connect across courses and universities. It gives lecturers an efficient way to support their students through a ‘create once, run everywhere’ system, addressing common questions in a course, removing duplication and providing detailed analytics to help understand and improve student engagement.
Set up by alumni from London Business School and UCL, Cheyne Tan, Barnaby Voss, Ben Hall and Deepak Colluru, BlikBook benefits from the strategic advice and backing of its chairman, Rene Olivieri, former CEO of Wiley Publishing and current HEFCE board member.
Cheyne Tan, co-founder and Managing Director of BlikBook, commented:
“Our technology enables universities to improve student engagement, quality ratings and academic performance through an easy to use digital platform for knowledge sharing between lecturers and students. This investment gives us a great boost as we seek to expand further in the UK and Ireland.”
Yannick Roux of Forward Investment Partners said,
“BlikBook is a great example of an early investment for Forward Investment Partners which has gone from strength to strength, solving a real pain point for both lecturers and students with easy integration into existing systems and providing powerful yet intuitive analytics for lecturers and academic institutions.”
Hugh O’Driscoll from Leaf Investments said:
“We are very pleased to support the continued success of BlikBook. The company has identified a critical area of improvement for third level education, delivering tangible improvements in student engagement.”
Delta Partners’ John Kenny added,
“Dublin’s start-up and ed-tech friendly environment is the ideal place for BlikBook to base itself during this critical growth phase.”
For more information, contact:
|Barnaby Voss, Commercial Director||Barnaby@BlikBook.com|
|Powerscourt||020 7250 1446|
|Juliet Clarke / John Elliott / Carmen Murray|
Notes to Editors
Founded in 2010 BlikBook connects students and lecturers in Higher Education based on what they are learning. The platform itself is cloud based and can be easily integrated into existing Learning Management Systems. For more information go to www.BlikBook.com
About Forward Investment Partners
Forward Internet Group (“Forward”) is a London-based investment group established and managed by entrepreneurs. Forward creates, acquires and invests into web and consumer businesses, nurturing ideas, enabling growth and optimising brands. Forward was established in 2004 as TrafficBroker, an affiliate marketing company. Today Forward operates three investment divisions: Forward Private Equity enables transformative growth for companies with established management teams; Forward Investment Partners provides venture and growth capital for start-ups; Forward Labs supports entrepreneurs in residence with seed capital, advice and support. Since 2004, Forward has invested in over 40 companies, including uSwitch, Zopa, unbound, Hailo, Hubbub and DropWines. For further information, please visit www.forward.co.uk
About Leaf Investments
Leaf Investments is an early stage investor in learning technologies, backed by the Folens publishing group. Founded on the principle that emerging technologies present opportunities to create new learning solutions, Leaf is specifically targeting internationally scalable disruptive technologies across the learning and education spectrum. Leaf is building on Folens’ pedigree of investment in learning businesses by bringing capital and expertise together under a single, discrete investment vehicle.
About Delta Partners
Delta Partners is a venture capital firm investing in Ireland and the United Kingdom. Established in 1994, it has €230 million under management, and is currently investing the Bank of Ireland Start-up and Emerging Sectors Equity Fund and Delta Equity Fund III. The firm has a strong focus on investing in early-stage technology firms and the team has made over 70 investments in the information communications technology and healthcare sectors. Delta Partners is among the most active early-stage investors in Europe.