Romanian Startup That Aims to Digitalize Speech Therapy for Children Targets a €290K Round of Investment
The Speakquest SRL, a Romanian company that is working on the development of a SaaS platform – VoxiKids – that will assist the recovery of children with speech disorders, has been listed on the largest equity crowdfunding platform in Southeast Europe – SeedBlink. The company already has 6 confirmed investors and has collected €145K of its €290K target. €115K will be invested by GapMinder VC, Cleverage VC, and several business angels. The €290K target accounts for 10.39% of VoxiKids’ equity, while its pre-money valuation is €2.5M. The investment will be used for international expansion and improvements of the VoxiKids platform.
Language Acquisition as a Global Problem
As noted by The Speakquest SRL, more than 34 million children all over the world are in need of a speech therapist, yet their needs often are not met. For Romania, the corresponding number is more than 500 000. The available market in the UK, USA, and Romania, which are part of the company expansion plan, includes up to 8 million children with speech impairments. Acquiring a language at a very early age is important for children in order to be able to talk properly. This and the fact that, as the pandemic occurred, the interest in telemedicine increased, motivated the team to launch a beta version of the SaaS platform in the middle of October. The platform offers materials designed by speech pathologists to help children overcome speech impairments, as well as management tools that enable parents and therapists to collaborate in online speech therapy sessions. VoxiKids also helps parents and specialists track the progress of the children and adjust their therapies. There is also a mobile app for both iOS and Android in the form of interactive games for children.
For now, the company is maintaining a B2B business model, although it also targets institutions such as schools and kindergartens that can help in developing its B2C model. The mobile apps offer 45 free exercises and the average cost of the subscription is €10 per month. The subscription fee in the SaaS platform depends on the number of children added to it (between €2 and €5 per child) and the number of tools that the therapist requires access to from the platform for the speech therapy practice costing an average of €50 per month.
A Fast Growth
Currently, the service has 7000 Romanian customers on Google Play. According to a company estimation, they will be able to generate up to €60K per month in the next year, from their B2B segment and €17K per month from their B2C segment. The Speakquest SRL was established at the beginning of 2020 and currently consists of a team of seven. According to their SeedBlink page, their platform VoxiKids has become the „number one, trending in education” on Google Play, meaning it was the most downloaded app in this segment. Recently, the SME has been accepted in the European program EIT Health InnoStar, a training, and competition program for innovative early-stage companies and SMEs, which offers prizes of up to €25K to develop their product or service. Noted by the company, their main advantage is timing, as they were first in the niche that soon “will be in focus for very large US/Israel players.” The funds from the SeedBlink campaign will be used for the entrance into 2 international markets in the next year that could possibly offer 50 000 B2B customers to the platform. The investment will also be used for developing voice processing with the help of AI, as well as for marketing and brand promotion. The growth of the telemedicine sector is expected to continue at an accelerated rate. The exit strategy of the company is to expand internationally within the next 5-6 years.