BlikBook, a social learning platform aimed at the higher education market, has today announced a $1.3 million funding round to expand its team as it edges towards the US market.
The funding round was led by Leaf Investments, with participation from Delta Partners’ Bank of Ireland Start-up and Emerging Sectors Fund, Enterprise Ireland and existing investor Forward Investment Partners.
Founded in the UK, BlikBook has relocated its HQ to Dublin, Ireland to take advantage of a pool of ed-tech development talent there. The Web-based service allows students and lecturers to set up Q&A rooms around specific courses. Students can ask questions and receive answers for their peers and from lecturers. Additionally, lecturers can highlight answers that they think are particularly useful or interesting. Essentially, it’s ‘Quora for higher education’.
Co-founder and managing director Cheyne Tan says that BlikBook is focused on driving high-quality engagement by students. This is helped by allowing for anonymous questions and answers to encourage shy students to take part, and through a recommendation algorithm that suggests topics that students may interested in based on their behavior and that of people similar to them.
BlikBook was born from the experiences of its founders while at university. They found that students asked questions to each other via long email chains and text messages – hardly an efficient way of sharing knowledge. The startup began by trying to create engagement around specific textbooks but found that students preferred to use it to share broader, course-related questions.