Memby, a Lithuania-based EdTech startup that brings affordable online tutorship to high school students, has recently closed a $1 million financing round led by Change Ventures.
The pre-seed round also saw participation from Brighteye Ventures and the Marius Jakulis Jason Foundation, as well as angel investors Justas Janauskas (Co-founder of Vinted) and Martynas Gudonavičius (Co-founder and CEO of the mobility platform Trafi).
According to a press statement, the funds will be used to further develop Memby’s platform and expand its services across Greece and Poland, with plans to expand to Italy and Slovakia in the second half of 2022.
Launched in 2020 by Eimantas Bekėža and Silvestras Stonkus, Memby aims to take the tutor experience from one-to-one to the one-to-many at a fraction of the usual tutoring cost. By giving educators a digital platform that was purpose-built for student engagement, the startup aims to ignite a passion for learning in their students. It places a particular emphasis on finding tutors who are not only experts in their fields but can also chart measurable student engagement in their courses. Memby’s technology identifies and rewards the educators who are able to connect with students, and, thanks to their proprietary digital platform, the platform is able to aggregate and scale this impact on a national stage.
Memby currently serves more than 3,5000 high schoolers, offering over 6,000 hours of educational content, 24 subjects and courses, with prices that are 5X cheaper than many of the one-to-one tutors.
Speaking about the platform, Eimantas Bekėža, Co-founder and CEO of Memby, said,
“The problem with most tutoring experiences is the cramming and mechanical memorization approach, which might help a pupil raise their marks, but only in the short term. In the long term, what a student needs to achieve is motivation, inspiration, and guidance. Only a tutor who is passionate about both their subject and teaching itself can turn these lights on. Everyone in education is well aware of the need for quality teachers, and we have built a technology that excels at enabling superstar educators and scaling their talents to the biggest stage possible.”
Memby’s approach to learning relies on live group sessions. Students can ask questions in real-time, participate in group discussions, and test their knowledge after the class is over. By using tools that continuously test the class participants’ understanding and actively track student engagement, tutors can easily improve their delivery based on the feedback they receive from their groups.
Commenting on the funding, Andris K. Berzins, Managing Partner at Change Ventures, said,
“Memby attracted 3000 students in its first half-year of operations in Lithuania, and 65% of those students signed up for multiple courses after their first courses were finished. This illustrated how Memby’s combination of low cost for students plus high pay for tutors is finding quick traction in markets that need these services. Eimantas is an educator himself, so we also appreciated that this venture had heart and experience behind it, together with the business vision.”
According to the OECD Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), almost a third of Europe’s 60 million pupils feel abandoned by the traditional school system. The rigidity of the school system, slow-to-adapt curricula, and underpaid, overworked teachers are realities that contribute to many students feeling left behind. And with tutors charging anywhere from €20 to €70 per hour, per student, extra help is out of reach for many families. This often results in students losing the passion for learning, which consequently lessen their chances of success at school as well as in their future work life.