Sydney-based edtech platform, Cleverbean, which helps Australian teachers reduce the risk of exhaustion, has received $200,000 in seed funding from Skalata Ventures as it seeks to expand its offering by incorporating AI-assisted feedback into its platform.
The platform offers instructors and institutions research-based and evidence-based learning materials covering the entire Australian English curriculum from kindergarten to year six.
Lucy Chambers, an educator, and Alina Hunter co-founded Cleverbean. Currently, the platform solves three critical problems for educators by providing the best quality materials for teachers, making them accessible and quick to find, and ensuring that every student receives personalised feedback.
Speaking with Business News Australia, Alina Hunter says, “The raise will help bolster the platform’s teacher memberships and implement a new AI offering designed to help provide real-time feedback to students.”
“The new features and technologies we are developing are all about providing students with feedback, particularly in the writing sense. During the lecture, 95 per cent of students will not receive feedback on their writing ability. “This is due to the complexity of the skill, as well as the fact that a teacher can’t provide precise feedback to 20 to 40 students in a class,” Hunter explains.
The technology has been built after analysing hundreds of pieces of classroom work, teachers’ feedback and their experience level. There has been a work trail of interviews with school leaders and teachers to build this technology that supports teachers and doesn’t make them feel like a replacement. [They’re] all consistently saying this helps them fill a huge gap, particularly in the area of student writing,” Hunter adds.
According to Cleverbean, 96% of educators who use the platform are already saving time on lesson planning. The platform’s development has been predominantly driven by word-of-mouth referrals from teachers, with thousands of educators paying out of pocket for the edtech.
Upon expansion of the product for other subjects, Hunter states that it was essential for the startup to perfect its current product offering.
“As a company, we’ve unquestionably discussed it extensively. As a product manager, I believe it’s important to ensure that a product is perfect before expanding it.” It’s about going in-depth and adding enormous value to a specific area,” Hunter said.
“Once you’ve mastered this, you can say, ‘Okay, now we can replicate this in other areas. My philosophy is to go in-depth and master a single proposition before expanding to other topics. Once you’ve earned the trust and permission of your audience, you can expand to other areas.
Quick Glimpse at the company and round details:
About: Cleverbean offers an online reading solution for teachers and schools. The tool helps educators design reading activities for students with different reading levels. It allows students to practice defined strategies using tips, prompts, and activities. Teachers can further use the tool to track students reading progress and provide personalised feedback.
Founders: Lucy Chambers and Alina Hunter
Headquartered In: Bondi, New South Wales, Australia
Founded In: 2018
Round: Seed Funding
Investors: Skalata Ventures