Numerade: Next-Gen Education
August 10, 2021 | Ashley Brindamour
Current teaching and tutoring methods offer little instruction on problem-solving skills and don’t fully prepare students for higher education. Data shows that 60% of incoming first-year students are not prepared for college education, and hiring a private tutor can cost over $50 an hour.
Alumni Ventures portfolio company Numerade is working to close the educational opportunity gap by unlocking and democratizing access to extraordinary educators and the content they have to offer. Leveraging bite-sized, short-form videos and driven by AI-powered discovery and recommendations, Numerade’s platform is well-positioned to resonate with the TikTok generation.
Highly Intelligent Business Model
Numerade is currently focused on tutoring geared towards STEM learning. However, the company is in the process of expanding to all K-12, higher education, and global audiences over the next 1-2 years. The below figure outlines how the company traces its growth trajectory, with its current status represented in Act 1.
Unlike traditional tutors, Numerade’s AI tutor covers 25 subjects, has 24/7 availability, and an expertise level that expands beyond an undergrad degree. The company’s primary business model is a monthly fee for unlimited access to educational videos. Premium add-on services such as direct Q&A, live streams, and class notes provide additional revenue opportunities.
Numerade’s team includes accomplished entrepreneurs and educators with prior success in similar roles. The team includes these members:
- CEO and Co-Founder Nhon Ma is a three-time founder and a two-time Googler, with stints in product, strategy, operations, and analytics across Google’s newest and most innovative businesses.
- CTO and Co-Founder Alex Lee is a previous founder of two EdTech companies, HugeIQ and TutorCast.
- VP of Growth Jon Buckley was recruited from The Wall Street Journal, where he played a crucial role in helping WSJ reach the largest membership base in its history.
- ML/AI Engineer Chun-Chao Lo has a PhD in Statistics and extensive research experience in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Deep Learning.
- Head of Partnerships Jake Steedman was a prior leader of partnership development processes and operations at two EdTech companies, 9Dots and Code To The Future.
Established Lead Investor and How We Are Involved
Numerade recently raised a $26 million Series A round led by IDG Capital — a $20 billion investment firm with deep private equity and venture capital expertise.
Ring Ventures (Alumni Ventures’ fund for the Texas A&M community) led the investment in Numerade’s Series A. Sibling funds 116 Street Ventures (for the Columbia community), Triphammer Ventures (for the Cornell community), and Westwood Ventures (for the UCLA community) also invested in the round. Part of our allocation was also raised via a Syndication opportunity.