Brio, a Romanian company that has developed the first Romanian educational SaaS (software as a service) platform, managed to raise €297K of its initial €270K target in a new investment round. The company is expected to sell between 9.09% and 11.48%of its shares. Given the results so far, this means that the company will roughly be valued at €3M at the end of the campaign. The eponymous platform, which has been developed for mass-market consumption, aims at improving the performance of Romanian students in grades 1-12. It has already been approved by the Ministry of Education and Research for school evaluation and testing. The investment was raised through SeedBlink, the largest equity funding platform in the region.
Science-based Student Testing
Brio is an emerging platform for standardized digital tests for the Romanian educational market which consists of around 3M students. The platform is built on Item Response Theory, the technology that is the basis of the SAT and GMAT tests. The user-friendly platform offers tests suitable for different educational levels, thus enabling teachers, parents, and institutions to monitor the progress of students. The company has developed two business models: B2C (Subscription-based packages for individual customers — Pay as you go, Free trials, etc.) and B2B2C (CSR programs / Corporate sponsorship / Special built-to-order educational testing products).
Brio’s test engine was developed by a team of international experts in testing and psychometry -Dragoș Iliescu, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at the University of Bucharest who is currently the President of the Testing Division of the IAAP (International Association of Applied Psychology) and one of the fathers of educational testing worldwide — Dr. Thomas Oakland (1939 – 2015).
The platform has already undergone several performance tests. Around 18 000 students have used the platform between March and August 2020 by completing 67 000 tests. What is more, over 260 schools have chosen Brio as an evaluation tool.
Main Future Target: the Domestic Market
For now, Brio does not have direct competitors as it is a first of its kind platform for Romania. However, while making a prognosis, its team takes into consideration the size of the market for private preparation, which is estimated at about €320-360K per year. The company forecasts that in 5 years about 30% of this market will migrate to standardized testing system(s) — which translates into over 1 million students and gives a market value estimation of above €100M. Although the company has considered opportunities for international expansion starting with a mathematics test, the recent pandemic has increased the demand for the platform on the Romanian market. For now, Brio is not planning to change its market and its future plans are more focused on the optimization of the platform. Marketing and advertising spending will be directed towards product promotion and development, strengthening, and consolidating the Brio brand, with the objective of improving the retention of users. According to an official statement of the company, the turnover is forecasted to exceed €2M in 2021 and €4.6M in 2022.