BibliU, provider of a learning enablement platform, today announced details of its Series B funding. The company has raised the first tranche of $15M led by its current investors with participation from new investors. The funds are targeted for expansion in the U.S. market, including new product development, additional publisher partnerships and further investments in sales and marketing.
All existing institutional Series A investors – Stonehage Fleming, Oxford Science Enterprises, Guinness Ventures, and Nesta Impact Investments – participated in the round. Richard Hill, Head of Direct Investments at Stonehage Fleming, joins the BibliU board of directors in a newly created position.
“Since our initial investment in 2020, BibliU has experienced tremendous growth – both in the U.K. market, where half of the nation’s higher education students now have access to content through the BibliU platform, and in the U.S. market, where universities and colleges are replacing legacy bookstore models with BibliU’s digital-first solution for content,” said Richard Hill, Head of Direct Investments, Stonehage Fleming. “We’re excited to increase our investment in BibliU, and by the growth opportunity BibliU has created. We also believe BibliU is delivering significant impact not only through substantially reducing the costs of textbooks and course materials but also by increasing student engagement and improving learning outcomes for students. This is an important aspect for our investors.”
BibliU addresses long-standing pain points in higher education that directly impact student success. Even those students with full financial aid packages that cover tuition, room and board, do not anticipate hidden costs such as textbooks and course materials. These expenses can derail a college education. Sixty-five percent of students in the U.S. admit to not buying their course content due to cost, while similar research from BibliU found that 70 percent of students in the U.K. have skipped buying their textbooks and learning materials.
The BibliU study also found that more than a third of students (35 percent) said they could not afford to buy their textbooks. Since digital content equalizes socio-economic disparities and students gain access to the required learning materials from day one, BibliU is helping colleges and universities promote diversity, equity and inclusion.
During its 2021 fiscal year, BibliU achieved 236 percent growth in recognized revenue. The company officially launched its Universal Learning solution, which aggregates digital content from thousands of publishers and OER (open educational resources) sources on one platform for one low price, per student, per class. Reception from the higher education market was positive, enabling BibliU to welcome new clients such as Wichita State University of Applied Sciences and Technology, Jackson College, and Dublin’s Trinity College to the platform.
BibliU co-founder and CEO Dave Sherwood said, “We’re excited to announce our successful Series B, which will power our growth over the coming years. We are working with an outstanding group of investors. This funding will enable BibliU to develop additional technology that further automates content management for publishers, streamline the complexities for institutions associated with managing learning content, and – most of all – support our clients’ goals to advance student success in an equitable manner.”
BibliU Board Chair, Mark Whitby, commented, “BibliU’s global growth has been impressive – in particular the company’s expansion in the U.S. market. Tranche 1 of Series B will enable the company to further fuel and accelerate this growth, whilst enabling institutions around the world to make content more accessible and affordable to their students.”
Nick Dixon-Clegg, Principal, Oxford Science Enterprises, said, “Oxford Science Enterprises is delighted to invest in BibliU’s Series B, having invested in and supported the company since 2017. We are impressed by the growth being delivered by simultaneously solving problems for students, higher education institutions and publishers. We are excited to support BibliU as it continues to grow revenue and deliver its mission to expand access in the U.S. and beyond.”
Hugo Vaux, Fund Manager, Guinness Ventures, shared, “BibliU has achieved impressive levels of growth and continues to welcome top institutions as new clients. This funding round puts BibliU in an even greater position to develop their proposition further and bring their Universal Learning solution to more institutions and students worldwide.”
Lisa Barclay, Executive Director of Investment, Nesta Impact Investments, said, “Through BibliU, we have seen how tremendous commercial growth has come hand in hand with social impact as hundreds of thousands of university students gain access to their course materials at low or no cost. A study has shown that access to BibliU improves students’ learning outcomes. Nesta is excited to provide further investment to enable BibliU’s continued growth and impact, particularly in closing the gap between students from more disadvantaged backgrounds and their better-off peers.”