Whether learning online or taking a class in person, each student knows very well how important it is to take good notes from your class as a key way to remember and apply what you teach.
Now, an Amsterdam-based startup called StuDocu, which has built a huge and profitable business through a platform to provide incentives and share the best student-made class notes, is announcing $50 million in heels of huge development – a space demand and opportunity Mark. The Series B is coming from Partech, the French vice-chancellor, and StuDocu is gaining some critical mass: the startup says it now has 15 million users across 2,000 universities in 60 countries.
The scale that is significant is not just the size of the company that was originally bootstrapped: both PitchBook and Crunchbase now raise about $1.5 million, but CEO Marnix Brower actually told me it was Peyton Capital, Peak Capital and Point Nine Capital was quietly raised with previous investors, compared to just $10 million.
In the Netherlands, where StuDocu is based, a lot of assessment of one in a graduate class is based on how you do the final exam, and so the notes probably hold even more discriminatory values. This is the environment where four students came together and formed the first StuDocu.
The last year of the Covid-19 edtech focused on technology that has helped people learn (or perhaps better) remotely than in more traditional theatrical, physical environments: improved streaming experience, better screen learning methods, experience management tools, and more. StuDocu both fit into that mold, but somehow, we associate learning with a more basic approach: taking notes while teaching in a class.
In 2013, students, including CEO Marnix Brewer and his friends Jack Hoops, Lucas van den Houghton and Sander Kuijk, saw the power of the Internet and crowd sourcing and saw the same course as an opportunity to make it easier for people to connect online to university and notes from their courses. Uploading and exchanging with each other to help each other – multiple strengths to better cover your bases in the knowledge section. (Hoops has left the company in an active role but remains as a consultant, the other two are still there, Brower says.)