Genially raises $20M Series B to help make education interactive

The company makes it easy for any teacher or company to make interactive presentations

Miami — Genially, a U.S. and Spain based startup that makes it easy to create interactive content without the need for code, today announced the close of a $20 million Series B round, bringing the total raised to date to about $27 million. Most of its clients are in Spanish speaking Latin America, and it also has employees in Mexico and Chile. The company is planning to launch in Brazil within the next year.

“Interactive content used to be premium content because it used to be expensive to produce, but now it’s being used everyday in the media as well as in education,” said Juan Rubio, co-founder and CEO of Genially.

Genially is web-based and offers a freemium version so people can try it before they buy it, and then it charges a monthly subscription fee. The company was originally created in 2015 to address the needs of corporate clients, but today 80% of its users are in education, which also makes up about 50% of their revenues. Teachers use Genially to make their presentations for class.

“At the end of the day, education is communicating, and the new generation, they are looking for content closer to what they are used to consuming,” Rubio told Bloomberg Línea. “When you want to create a new standard of communication, you need to work with the native users of that content,” he added.

Genially offers several types of content creation including presentations, infographics, interactive images, maps, quizzes, resumes and calendars.

Prior to founding Genially, Rubio founded and ran a communications agency that helped corporate clients communicate about environmental topics. He routinely found himself making interactive elements for the companies and he noticed a pattern. “Every time we turned in a finished product, the company would ask how they themselves could make changes, and we always had to tell them they would have to know how to code to make changes.” Eventually he came to the realization that what the majority of clients really valued was the ability to do the work themselves. That’s where the idea for Genially was born.

Today the company has about 140 employees, the product is available in 190 countries, and Rubio said that more than 3 million creators use the product each month. Genially is growing at an extreme pace, according to Rubio, who said they get more than 30k new users daily.

One thing I found interesting was the company’s sales approach which is “bottoms up, " similar to that of Slack and Dropbox. Instead of approaching a school, for example, Genially approaches a teacher. Once that teacher starts using the product, Genially depends on the teacher liking it enough that he or she asks for a paid subscription from the school, which sometimes results in the school getting a subscription for all the teachers.

“That way we don’t need a huge sales team. For the first five years, we had only three people doing sales,” Rubio said.

Investors in this round include 645 Ventures, Owl Ventures - a prestigious ed-tech investor, DN Capital, Brighteye Ventures, S16 - an angel fund that was founded and run by the CEO of Miro, and We are Human.