Singapore edtech startup Geniebook secures $16.6m in Series A funding

Geniebook co-founders Neo Zhizhong and Alicia Cheong.

Singapore-based edtech startup Geniebook is looking at scaling its team and expanding its existing products after raising $16.6 million in a Series A funding round backed by venture capital firm East Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

In an announcement, the startup, established in 2016 by Alicia Cheong and Neo Zhizhong, said the funding round was also participated by several angel investors, including John Tanner (Dunce Capital), Gaurav Munjal & Roman Saini (Unacademy), Kunal Bahl & Rohit Bansal (Snapdeal), Alvin Tse (Xiaomi), and Linh Pham Giang (Hocmai).

Senior executives from some of Southeast Asia’s major tech firms such as Grab, Shopee, and Gojek also joined the round, it added.

Aside from scaling its team with strategic hires, Geniebook said the fresh funds will be used to continually innovate on its existing products, including GeneiSmart, its AI personalised worksheets that identify specific learning gaps for targeted improvement.

It also operates GenieClass, where students learn from teachers via live online classes, and GenieAsk, which allows students to chat with and receive help from teachers in real-time.

The latest funding round comes more than two years after Geniebook raised $1.1 million in a pre-Series A funding round led by multi-asset investment firm Apricot Capital. The startup now has offices in Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Geniebook said it offers ways to compound a student’s learning gains through self-directed and social learning across its products, ranging from worksheets, live online classes, and teacher chats.

“More than ever today, with online pedagogy becoming essential, we must greatly enhance the digital experience to accelerate students’ learning,” says Neo Zhizhong, CEO and co-founder of Geniebook.

Geniebook’s latest funding comes as edtech emerged as the third most active business vertical in terms of deal volume as well as value in the third quarter, a position typically occupied by logistics or healthcare, showed DealStreetAsia’s SE Asia Deal Review: Q3 2021 report.

Edtech firms raised $681 million from 18 deals in the August-September quarter.

Out of 18 deals recorded by edtech firms, 10 are by companies focused on providing online courses and tutoring such as Singapore-based ADP list, Rocket Academy, and T-Lab Fun.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.