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Post-Round Founder Interview: Evelina Necula

Kinderpedia: Startup Success Story

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Kinderpedia is an innovative platform and app for education that provides all the digital infrastructure necessary for education institutions to work smart and communicate efficiently and transparently, both in the classroom and with families.

Built to aid schools, teachers and families from across the world, Kinderpedia is present, in 14 countries, on 4 continents. 2,000 schools and kindergartens are registered on Kinderpedia today, totaling more than 200,000 student accounts.

So far, the company has raised $3.6 million, with SeedBlink investors participating in the Q3 2020 and Q4 2021 rounds.

Evelina Necula, co-founder and CMO of Kinderpedia, talks to us about her experience raising capital with SeedBlink and the key to the success of their rounds.

What does "success" mean to you and Kinderpedia?

At Kinderpedia, we measure success by the profoundness of our impact in the school communities where we are active. We evaluate the way our school management & communication solution simplifies the work of teachers and school managers, and the number of valuable hours it saves from bureaucratic tasks allowing the school team to use them for meaningful classroom activities. We quantify success by the way we manage to open the school to parents and make them part of their children’s school experience. We also look at how the mobile app enhances classroom interaction & active learning and supports students in becoming responsible and autonomous.

Our users’ success stories are a good reflection of our achievements. For example, we have recently announced that Maple Bear Global Schools partnered with Kinderpedia to bring innovative school management and real-time communication to their educational communities across the world. This is the scaling up of a regional partnership which already proved results in two key Maple Bear locations – Central and Eastern Europe and the United Arab Emirates.

Using Kinderpedia will offer the Maple Bear network – present in 32 countries around the world – an integrated digital framework that includes user management, communication, class management, and financial & operational functionalities.

Today, Kinderpedia is used by schools and kindergartens from 14 countries on 4 continents; this reaffirms our global vision and strengthens our confidence that we can contribute to the digital transformation of education worldwide.

The international recognition earned by Kinderpedia for innovation & social impact also quantifies what we call success. Our team recently won 1st place in InnovX Accelerator, a special prize from Microsoft, and 2nd place in the Wolves Summit startup competition. European Commission granted Kinderpedia the “Seal of Excellence” on SME Instrument, Phase II. We also won 1st prize awarded by the Innovators for Children accelerator and 3rd place in the Startarium competition. Business Review Magazine granted Kinderpedia the “Innovator of the Year” award at the Business Review Awards Gala, in March 2020. In 2021, we have been shortlisted for “Innovator of the Year” and “Most Adaptive Business Model”, at the same event. Business Magazine presented Kinderpedia among the most innovative companies in Romania, in the editions dedicated to innovation, for three consecutive years: 2019, 2020, and 2021.

A part of the SeedBink community has supported your company in the past two funding rounds, most recently with 1.8 million in Q4 2021. How has the SeedBlink experience impacted Kinderpedia's visibility and traction?

We are strong believers in the value people and communities can bring to a business, especially in the early days, and more so when we are referring to social entrepreneurship. Our decision to finance Kinderpedia through SeedBlink, as part of our 2020 round, was based on much more than getting mere access to capital. We were looking for partners and ambassadors among our potential investors: parents, school managers, or business people with a deep commitment to education and its role of building up to tomorrow’s society. When the round was completed, we got more than 50 new members in Kinderpedia family.

The fact that all our previous investors have chosen to participate again in Kinderpedia’s October 2021 financing round, also proves the strength of our community. We are grateful for their trust and support, and encourage them to continue promoting digital transformation and parent engagement in education, in the schools they are involved with.

I have an amazing and very recent story with one of our SeedBlink investors. He is based in Portugal and has been constantly in touch with our team there over the past 2 years. When we held an event in Portugal, in partnership with the Municipality of Santarém and with the largest parents’ federation in the country – Fapoestejo – he came to meet us, and we spent an amazing day together. He reaffirmed his availability to support our local team, anytime needed and his satisfaction to finally meet us, especially with the occasion of our first live conference in Portugal.

Would you recommend SeedBlink to other founders?

I believe founders should weigh all available funding sources when seeking new capital, therefore they should definitely consider SeedBlink. The unique value of SeedBlink comes from the combination of democratic access to funding, the support of the community behind the co-investment platform, and the know-how and resources you provide to startups.

Would you have done anything differently during the campaign? What do you think was most important in closing the funding round successfully?

Kinderpedia’s first funding round was rolled out in the summer of 2020. It was in the aftermath of the Covid debut and the subsequent lockdown. Most of all, it was in a time when we were working day-in and day-out to help schools, as per our protocol with the Ministry of Education, and we needed additional resources to scale our support. In different circumstances, we might have been better prepared to “pitch” our solution to potential investors, but it was that particular moment when we needed support most of all.

In my opinion, the factors which weighted mostly in closing the round successfully were the team, the product, and the potential to scale and expand internationally.

Which departments benefit most from the latest round?

Currently, a significant part of our resources goes towards sales – especially the international ones, marketing, and development.

Where do you see Kinderpedia and your team in 3 years?

I am confident that the upcoming years will prove Kinderpedia’s potential to scale globally. We have a solid product and the support of a passionate and determined team behind it. Most of all, we have formed an amazing community of educators, just as enthusiastic and dedicated to transforming the way our children learn and develop.

We will continue to grow the product, to address the needs of schools, teachers, students, and parents alike. Kinderpedia will keep innovating and trailblazing user-friendly & convenient digital functionalities for education.

What advice would you offer a tech entrepreneur building their dream startup?

Startup founders often think that it is the lack of funding that is keeping them from achieving their goals. However, the lack of resources can sometimes be compensated by creativity, hard work, and a strong vision to succeed – traits that many investors are looking for in the startups they choose to finance. In other words, act as if you already had the money. Show a clear growth path to convince people to buy into your vision and back it with funds.

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By Bianca Iulia Simion

PublishedMay 09, 2022


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