Business

Brazil's HeroSpark raises BRL 17 million to enhance educational technology

Alexia Ventures led the first round of the startup, which was born from the merger of two companies three years ago

Nilson Filatieri, CEO and co-founder at HeroSpark. Photo: Courtesy
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  • HeroSpark will use the funding for marketing, technology, and human resources;
  • The startup claims to have more than 1,600 customers among teachers and students.

Brazilian software education startup HeroSpark raised its first venture capital round led by Alexia Ventures: BRL 17 million to accelerate the expansion of its business in Brazil.

A fund led by Wolf Klabin and Patrick Arippol, Alexia Ventures invests in Seed and Series A for software companies and businesses where data is the core of the business.

This is the first round for the startup, which was born in 2019 with the merger of the companies Edools and EADBOX. In turn, EADBOX raised BRL 4 million from Bzplan in 2017. Even before the merger, Edools and EADBOX went through acceleration programs such as 500 Startups, Google Launchpad and Black Box, alongside large companies, among them, Creditas, GetNinjas, Love Mondays (now Glassdoor), and Pipefy.

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“The companies Edools and EADBOX were in a more corporate, e-learning footprint. So the first thing we decided when we thought about the merger was that it would be cool if it was something more geared towards digital entrepreneurship, the focus was that anyone could turn their knowledge into an online course and thus become a hero, as we talk about. That’s how the HeroSpark brand was born”, says Nilson Filatieri, CEO and co-founder of HeroSpark.

After the merger, the startup‘s big challenge was to connect the existing strategy and product on top of HeroSpark, says the CEO, in an interview with LABS. “We have already established ourselves in the market, but we are still in a maturation stage because it involves a lot of testing, discoveries, etc. Many things have already worked out, others we need to readapt and so we seek to increasingly improve the HeroSpark brand and contribute to entrepreneurship.”

The company then looked to Alexia Ventures to raise capital and increase product investment, as well as add investors with strategic visions. HeroSpark will now use the funding for marketing, technology, and human resources.

“We understand that HeroSpark has a complete solution for new educators and that is why it has a very strong alignment with our thesis. HeroSpark increases the potential for people to reinvent themselves in their career throughout life, it doesn’t want to compete with certified courses but extends practical courses offered by people with very specialized knowledge. It is democratic academic content and a new source of employment,” Patrick Arippol, partner and co-founder of Alexia Ventures, told LABS.

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Patrick Arippol, partner and co-founder of Alexia Ventures. Photo: Courtesy

The startup‘s business model resembles the unicorn Hotmart and consists of providing sales page building and email marketing automation tools and programs to drive sales and promotion of online courses, as well as its own checkout and hosting resources for educators to teach without worrying about infrastructure. Herospark’s remuneration happens with each sale of courses/classes within the platform and HeroSpark’s commission is at 7.9% for each transaction. Users only pay when they sell.

According to Filatieri, all users can start using HeroSpark for free, putting their online courses on the platform. But for customers who have already started and are with sales volume and need to better structure the management of their business, the initial plans cost from BRL 197.

Since the merger, HeroSpark claims to have more than 1,600 customers among teachers and students, users who have sold on the platform, or hired some recurring plan. Last year, the startup registered 60,000 new accounts opened from teachers or digital entrepreneurs who registered on the Herospark platform.

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The professionals who most sought the startup amid the pandemic were experts in a particular subject who already had an idealized product, but needed to make it concrete, put it on a platform, and, mainly, set up the whole strategy to make the first sales, according to Filatieri.

“Many people have the knowledge to share, but they don’t know exactly how to do that. That’s where HeroSpark enters the entrepreneurial journey of these professionals who are from the most diverse areas.”

The startup also said that the intent and average monthly searches for the HeroSpark brand in search engines like Google and YouTube grew 204% between April 2019 and April 2020, according to Google Trends and tools like SEMRUSH and Google Ads.

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