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HelloPLATO

HelloPLATO democratizes access to online learning.

USA, California
Market: Education, training
Stage of the project: Prototype or product is ready

Date of last change: 12.01.2021
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Idea

HelloPLATO is an AI based solution that serves global markets with weak infrastructure that marginalizes hundred of millions of learners. With HelloPLATO rich online learning can be delivered through WhatsApp and other messaging platforms, vastly increasing the reach and retention of learning to students worldwide.

Current Status

We are piloting a robust MVP in India and the US (our beachhead markets) K12 markets. We expect to get to early revenue this quarter. We can see a path to 1M in ARR run rate this year.

Market

Our customers will be schools and tutoring programs/centers. It may also be integration and channel partners.

The US and Indian K12 markets are the beachhead for us. Segment includes all from the upper lower socioeconomic and above (not so much those living below the poverty line). This includes “the Next Half Billion” earning $2200-3300 USD annually in India and all of those with greater means in India and the US. This is a venture scale market with very strong demand. The Next Half Billion spends 12B on private education (60% of household income on average!) for their children but only 5% of that has gone toward EdTech. Now that’s set to explode.

Problem or Opportunity

Global educational equity doesn’t exist and COVID only serves to make that abundantly clear. The emerging learners of the middle class worldwide and marginalized learners in the US are mobile native, video and voice first users. Current online learning solutions were built in early 2009s for corporate compliance and haven’t changed much since. They don’t work for the modern learner.

Let’s not let the educational gap between the rich and the poor be widened by technology! Instead let’s use technology as it should be used, to help affordably level the playing field.

Solution (product or service)

HelloPLATO is NOT a mobile app. It’s a simple course building tool that allows teachers to deliver their courses and assessments over WhatsApp and provides an AI learning assistant that helps students and teachers to personalize learning and retention. We GO TO LEARNERS where they are physically and academically, rather than simply leave them behind. And we offer a price point that is accessible to emerging markets.

Competitors

Only one competitor - Arist - is doing close to what we’re doing. They came out of Y Combinator and raised 1.9M USD. They are college students and are focusing on the corporate training market.

Otherwise competitors only do part of what we do and NONE are leveraging WhatsApp. They include Quizlet, Quizzizz, Kahoot, PearDeck, EdPuzzle, etc.

Advantages or differentiators

Our team is the moat. Because we are a first mover in our space, you have to believe that we are the team to make it happen, and we are.

Three co-founders (one Wharton MBA - me) built and exited a K12 online learning company in 2016 at a 12x multiple!

Chairman of the Board who’s a professional CEO that built and exited 4 International EdTech companies, the last of which, Graduation Alliance, returns the entire fund to investors.

Dev leaders/advisors are worldwide experts in online learning and conversational AI bots and messaging apps. These are two separate and DEEP disciplines that no one else has yet brought together.

Finance

We anticipate a universal price point for direct sales of between $3-5 USD per student per year. This is in keeping with the models and affordability of our target market.

Revenue will come from both direct and channel sales.

Projections for sales given that we have just begun our GTM cannot go forward five years with any accuracy. What we expect is to get to early revenue this year with the possibility of 1M ARR run rate this year. But India is so vast and the US so well known to us that the possibility of much faster or more aggressive growth exists.

Business model

We will earn direct revenue from B2B sales to schools as well as tutoring businesses.

We will earn shared/channel revenue through partnerships with LMS and content providers.

Our costs will largely be for concurrent AI calls, customer support, and sales

Money will be spent on

Primarily Dev and sales, although I feel we will get the NSF grant for $250k for Dev so that may reduce our overall spending needs to just sales/growth.

Goal is to get to revenue run rate of 1M in ARR this year.

Offer for investor

We’re offering three investment tranches for our 1.5M raise:

500k at 5M post money
500k at 8M post money
500k at 10M post money

We plan to offer SAFE notes, just val cap, no discount. Open to negotiation for investors desiring to lead or bringing special value.

We were also forced by the form to enter $109k as minimum investment but bc we are tranching it, we can do minimums of $25k for individual investors.

Team or Management

Risks

Given excitement about this in early pilots we feel strongly that we meet an unmet demand. The risks are primarily related to exploring markets that are not our own, however, we’re going into India with incredibly strong partners and believe that is the best path.

And as always, undercapitalization is a risk for all businesses, yes? That’s what being successful entrepreneurs in the past will teach you - keep the lights on so the business can grow!

Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment

Not yet but we don’t need an incubator and barely need accelerators given our business backgrounds.

Won the competition and other awards

Haven’t applied for any. We are an AWS Edstart program member.

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Idea
Current Status
Market
Problem or Opportunity
Solution (product or service)
Competitors
Advantages or differentiators
Finance
Invested in previous rounds, $
Business model
Money will be spent on
Offer for investor
Team or Management
Mentors & Advisors
Lead investor
Risks
Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment
Won the competition and other awards
Invention/Patent
Photos
Product Video