Startup Spotlight #144: Lernico
Lernico is a new social learning platform, where experts can easily build and scale their online learning communities and monetize their knowledge.
Lernico is a platform that empowers experts to become creators by building, scaling, and monetizing online learning communities. Their goal is to empower lifelong learning through these expert-led learning communities.
They are building the university of the future in emerging markets by addressing both the quality and accessibility of higher education with engaging, accessible, community-based online education that provides relevant 21st-century skills and knowledge. By doing so, they are also addressing the global skills gap that’s highest in Latin America, our first market.
The founders are Yasaman Rajaee and Camilo Jimenez, who met through Entrepreneur First last year.
Rajaee is a 3-time career transitioner and Jimenez is a former university professor of software engineering. Previously, they both tried to contribute to improving the current education system individually. Rajaee created a community of aspiring product managers that helps current software engineers. Camilo published several papers on new active learning approaches because he realized that universities do not sufficiently prepare learners for the challenges they will face in the job market. They believe that their combined experiences in education, community building, and technology will allow them to win the online cohort-based course market.
Enter Your Email Below To Receive Startup Spotlights In Your Inbox 3X Per Week:
Startup Spotlight: Lernico
Problem: Lernico aims to address the skill gap in developing countries. The situation is most severe in Latin America, where 20% of young people are unemployed, and 40% of employers report that they have difficulties finding the right talent.
Market: If we define our TAM as the market of cohort-based courses in developing countries, we can be considered market-builders. However, defining our market in the short term as the online learning market in Latin America, our TAM is ~$3B and expected to grow at a yearly 17% in the next 10 years, while our long term TAM is the corporate training market in developing markets, an estimated $65B market, which is expected to grow at an annual 11% by 2027.
Solution: Lernico is a platform that empowers experts to become creators by building, scaling, and monetizing online learning communities (OLCs). OLCs are a new type of community where learners connect through cohort-based courses, live webinars, discussion groups, and other engaging activities.
Team: Our co-founders have extensive experience in tech, education, and startup and community building: Yasaman worked as a product manager at Google, Personio, and Celonis and was the Community Director @Pathcheck Foundation (aka MIT CovidSafePath), a 1300 member community of MIT and Harvard students & Google, FB, Amazon, etc. engineers and designers who delivered the first COVID-19 contact tracing application of the US in 2020; Camilo is a serial entrepreneur from Colombia who founded 3 successful ventures and has 10+ years of teaching experience at one of Colombia's top universities. Additionally, we already have a team of dedicated employees and supporters with business, startup, and management consulting experience.
Rajaee and Jimenez: We are proud of the success of our pilot courses and the fact we did not only generate $11k GMV on our very first learning community, but 100% of our learners completed the course. This has proved our concept that cohort-based courses achieve significantly higher engagement than MOOCs (3-5% completion rate). In Q3 2021, we are launching another 5 cohorts with a total of ~200 students and a potential 100k in revenue. What is most exciting is that while our experts are contributing to transforming their learner's life, they have already started to make a living, teaching their passion just by being a part-time expert on Lernico.
Rajaee and Jimenez: We are proud of the fact that we already delivered courses with a 100% completion rate and generated revenue with our MVP. However, this is a classic "building a plane while flying" situation, which isn't easy. Things are happening fast, and sometimes we wish we had more time to reflect and standardize processes from early on. What we realized that is helpful is to try to design for scale from day 1. While my co-founder and I are still involved in many processes from course management through course delivery to strategy and fundraising, we are already thinking about structures that enable us to grow without being dependent on us, founders. For example, we pair our experts with course managers who work for us on a part or full-time basis and manage the end-to-end course creation and delivery process.
Rajaee: As a first-time female founder and first-generation immigrant from the middle east, I have experienced substantial bias toward putting me in the defense and questioning my company's promise. My advice to others like me is to be aware of these challenges but don't let them define you. Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey, and it is more challenging when you come from an underrepresented background; find a mentor/support group who understands this, and you can rely on it when hard days come. If you think I can be that person, please don't hesitate to reach out.
Three Cool Founders You Should Know About:
Rajaee and Jimenez: Here are three founders you should check out next!
Jason Sprenger, Founder of VIU: VIU keeps people safe and informed about crime and emergency events.
Alana Kalin, Founder of Mento: Mento makes creating wills simpler.
Who should I profile next? Leave your suggestion in the comments:
Why you should become a paid subscriber to Founder to Founder:
Get connected to elite tech entrepreneurs through in-depth Founder Case Studies
Receive exclusive documents crafted by top founders on how to build your company
Access a growing audience of venture capitalists, product managers, software engineers, and people passionate about technology
Hear real, raw experiences from entrepreneurs that you won’t see anywhere else
Previous F2F Case Studies:
Previous Startup Spotlights: