Founders Dan Avida, Daphne Koller, Serge Plotkin
Sector Higher Education, Corporate L&D
Location California, USA
Impact Improving learning outcomes. Engaging learners through active learning
March 2020 Dan and Daphne find emergency-response online learning is not effective for their own daughters
Oct 2020 Founders come together to create a purpose-built solution with $14.5M in seed funding
Jan 2021 Higher education institutions begin using Engageli
May 2021 Engageli raises $33M in Series A funding
July 2021 Engageli enters the corporate L&D market
What is it?
Engageli is a comprehensive learning environment, purpose-built for active learning, with features built to increase engagement and retention. Uses of the platform are found in higher education, alternative credentialing, upskilling, employee onboarding and training, and more.
Why we invested
Engageli was founded in October 2020 by Dan Avida, a serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist, his wife Daphne Koller, a Stanford Adjunct Professor of Computer Science and co-founder of Coursera, and Serge Plotkin, a Stanford Professor Emeritus. At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Dan and Daphne’s daughters found themselves forced to learn using video conferencing tools intended for business meetings. They, like most learners, did not enjoy the experience. Engageli traces its roots to an early vision of online learning that Daphne set out to deliver while teaching computer science at Stanford University. Engageli brings the approach full circle by marrying, for the first time, the effective learning of a small-group environment with the scalability, accessibility and analytics of online learning, creating an inclusive platform for all. The founding team set out to build Engageli with a mission to provide an engaging, accessible and dynamic online learning experience anytime and anyplace.
The pandemic highlighted a significant gap in the quality of online learning options available to students. Existing meeting software was repurposed for education and was not able to meet the complex needs of learning effectively, especially in larger groups. This led to poor engagement and declining learning outcomes for many students, and a lack of access to education for vulnerable populations. The need for better online learning options, purpose-built for education, has become increasingly evident – not just during the pandemic but as we increasingly learn and work in virtual and hybrid environments. Through virtual learning and collaboration, many have faced a sense of isolation and feelings of disconnection from their peers and colleagues. This further demonstrates the need for platforms that allow more genuine connections and effective collaboration.
Engageli takes the best of in-person and virtual learning environments, and offers flexibility for learners with synchronous, asynchronous, blended or hybrid options. Engageli includes tools that enhance the video experience and make it more intuitive for educators and learners. Engageli’s ability to measure learner behaviour gives instructors unique insight into their learners’ habits and understanding, allowing them to adapt to teaching practices and curriculum content accordingly, and identify learners who may need extra support.
The shift to online learning during the pandemic has highlighted the need for better digital education solutions. The market for online learning is expected to reach $325 billion by 2025, with 72% of organisations believing that it gives them a competitive advantage. Online courses offer learners numerous benefits, from the ability for students to learn at their own pace and increased knowledge retention (17-50% increase), to increased profitability for companies offering their employees digital learning opportunities. The shift towards online learning has been accelerated by the pandemic, and it is expected to continue in the coming years as students and companies increasingly seek out flexible and accessible learning options. As such, there is a significant opportunity for a purpose-built education solution that provides an engaging and effective learning experience, meets the needs of a variety of learners, and helps institutions drive better outcomes for their students.
“Engageli is so profoundly different conceptually from other standard video conferencing systems: it’s purposely built to facilitate the infinite possibilities of active learning. Right at the heart of Engageli is the pedagogical process of ‘discovering’ the affordances of ‘decentralising’ the e-classroom. In short, more instructor ‘table-level thinking’ is the way to go, and that’s why Engageli is really exciting for me!” Dr Chris Alexander, head of the Technology Enhanced Learning Centre, University of Nicosia
Quote from Engagli
Being a part of the Emerge portfolio is truly an asset for us at Engageli. The Emerge team is smart, hardworking and clearly passionate about the future of learning. They have been very supportive of what we’re building here at Engageli, and continuously connect us to others that share our vision. The Emerge team have championed our product by using it in their own Product Market Fit Academy sessions as well as for higher education edtech board meetings with VCs, PVCs and COOs. By pairing Engageli with thinktanks, learning opportunities and networking events, our partnership is enabling meaningful thought leadership and innovations. Emerge have also made highly appreciated and valuable introductions that have led to great relationships with important partners.