Carlos Souza, Veduca Partner: Video-lessons will also be availabe in othe languages, starting by spanish. The brasilian Veduca, startup company specialized in on-line education, received a R$1,5 milion investment from the Silicon Valley investment group 500 Startups and from Mountain do Brasil, arm of the swiss investment group Mountain Partners. The investors partners will have a minority participation in the company, acording to Carlos Souza, partner and CEO of Veduca.
The company launched it's site in march. The online service offers 5 thousand video-lessons from the 13 main universities of the world, including Stanford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), New York University, Columbia, Yale and Harvard.
The lessons were organized in 21 academic courses, and part of the material has subtitles in portuguese. "In Brazil, only 2% of the population speaks english, and that was a access barrier to this content", said Souza.
The site was founded by the entrepreneurs Carlos Souza, André Tachian, Eduardo Zancul e Marcelo Mejlachowicz. Even with no advertisement, the site reached 1 milion visitors per month and 5 milion visualized pages. To Souza, this shows that there is a big demand for this type of service. The target audience are college students and teachers. In the country, acording to Ministry of Education data, there are 6,1 milion of students, 18 milion of people with major degree and 240 university teachers. The access is free and the company receives fee by publishing and saling books, complementary to the video-lessons.
Veduca was one of the brasilians companies that were present at TechCruch Disrupt. During the event, Souza met the new partners. Acording to Souza, about 20 investment groups searched for their company.
The Startup was under the spotlights of the investors mainly because of two tecnologies that she developed, that became patents. One of them was a algorithm software, capable to make searches of terms found in the video-lessons subtitles and also terms spoke by the teahcer during the classes.
Another tecnology that was developed is a software able to reach important news on the web and associate them to content related video-lessons. Souza said that this mecanism is very much alike Adsense, from Google, that reponds for 30% of the internet revenue.
Acording to Souza, the resources will be used for the development of new tecnologies that help to relate video and news content. A amount of the investment will be used to improve the collection of video-lessons, the content with subtitles in portuguese and also to produce subtiltes in spanish. Today, the subtitles were made by 250 people that do a voluntary work, in a collaboration network - like Wikipedia. " Our gold is to offer this service to emerging nations. Let's start with the countries with spanish language", said.
See the original article here.