Frederico Bello, Founder, Luca

Born in Portugal, Frederico spent his career between finance and the startup world, mostly in Spain and London. As the former Head of Europe & Global International Expansion at ThePowerMBA, he immersed himself within the edtech world, deciding to leverage his entrepreneurial drive and previous experiences into disrupting the K12 Spanish Speaking Latam market for good. The founder of Luca is also a former Investment Banking Analyst at Morgan Stanley and held management roles at several startups such as Uber, Selectra and Circ (e-scooters).

 

Given the restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many parents are looking for alternatives for children to take their classes online. Online k12 is a viable option in this quest.

It should be noted that this level is essential for the student to develop their individual skills or abilities. Also the acquisition of values to interact within society. 

The inclusion of information and communication technologies has caused important changes in pedagogical methodologies.

In this sense, students can use these technological resources to complement their training or even as support material to solve school activities.

E-learning or virtual teaching proposes to focus learning towards digital channels. This means eliminating the barriers of space and time that are currently limited.

Luca the Educational Platform arrives in Mexico

Luca is an educational platform that serves to provide children and young people with educational tools developed by expert teachers, which allow them to continue their studies and stay updated and to be the main support for mothers and fathers when providing school support for their children.

A set of tools for children’s learning

“We are very proud to reach the Mexican market with this platform. At Luca we are more than a reinforcement option at home, we are a specialized academic platform that comprehensively covers all the topics of the SEP (Secretaría de Educación Pública) curriculum and that children can use to learn for the first time, review, or prepare for an exam while they play and have fun”, stated our CEO, Frederico Bello.

We are aware that the health emergency has changed the way thousands of children and teenagers live and study, a situation that involves multiple challenges and has resulted in a drop in learning levels and school dropouts never seen before.

Impacts of COVID-19 on children’s learning

During the current pandemic, parents shared the feeling that their children did not learn enough at home, because the traditional platforms used by schools are not designed to meet the student needs.

85% of kids using Luca improved their math and sciences grades

90% of our students improved their ability to solve complex problems

80% of our students are able to relate what the have learned to their daily lives

Luca’s impact on the learning of children

In this context, our digital education platform promotes democratizing access to education: at a very affordable cost, with high-quality content focused on a student-centered methodology and aligned with current technologies and platforms.

Our students learn with video microlearning lessons of just 5 minutes, designed by expert teachers, accompanied by quizzes and games, which make learning fun for students.

This model has been tested in schools in Mexico, resulting in unprecedentedly high rates of interaction and retention in the educational sector in the country bringing benefits like the ones we will mention.

Luca is an Educational Platform that values the relationship between Neuroscience and Education

Luca is an E-learning platform that is concerned with motivating Primary and Secondary students towards learning, in such a way that it offers different interactive activities based on gamification and microlearning, 2 learning modalities that value the importance of creating a relationship between Neuroscience and Education.

This virtual learning environment has fostered enriching experiences both at home and in the classroom, promoting collaborative learning among peers and helping students to use different electronic devices more profitably.

Applies educational technology to make math fun, tackling math anxiety

Competitiveness is a necessary skill that must be developed from the beginning of childhood education. Managed well, this ability develops well-rounded individuals capable of facing any situation.

In fun math, the development of competitiveness occurs through challenges. These challenges increase interest, stimulating their desire to learn and apply mathematics in their daily lives.

Luca is a virtual learning platform designed for children to learn about the most necessary learning areas in a didactic and fun way. At Luca we take advantage of technological devices to accompany our students wherever they are. In addition, we have the best math activities, games and microlearning tools; so no one will get bored, much less with mathematics.

Luca use a microlearning methodology, a tool that revolutionizes education

Brevity: Microlearning is understood as a process of short duration. Learning is based on interaction with micro content that can be acquired in short periods of time.

Granularity: This characteristic refers to the fact that this learning model focuses on unique content or topics that specialize the training that the student acquires.

Variety of content: it is mainly due to the multitude of options offered by technologies. Microlearning uses videos, podcasts or games so that the training process is as dynamic and agile as possible for the student.

Formal learning: this concept refers, mainly, to the fact that by being able to acquire small doses of knowledge, sometimes we are not aware of this micro-learning process. In everyday actions such as watching a video or reading an informative blog, they are small gestures where we apply microlearning almost without realizing it.

Advantages of this innovative methodology 

Thanks to all these features, Luca can help educate much more effectively. Children can process around four bits of information simultaneously. This makes the results of microlearning training almost immediate.

These are some of the advantages offered Luca by microlearning:

  • The versatility of learning allows students to learn at their own pace without time being a problem in this training process.
  • It is estimated that learning through this educational strategy is usually 17% more efficient. Many times it is difficult for our mind to maintain attention for hours. Learning in short and spaced periods helps our brain to memorize content more efficiently and quickly.
  • The specialization of the contents allows students to focus on the knowledge they need at a given time, thus guaranteeing their acquisition and learning.
  • The microlearning platform allows students to commit and participate 50% more than with other types of conventional educational strategies. Videos, games or interactive content help activate the interest of the students making them more involved in the training.
  • Traditional learning has sessions and practices that require the student a greater time of dedication. This does not happen with microlearning thanks to the short duration of each of the learning modules, thus accelerating the process of acquiring knowledge. This is ideal for students who have little time for training.

Luca raises $3M to transform and expand access to education in Mexico and Latin America

Luca closed a pre-seed investment round with the participation of Heartcore Capital (Denmark) and Shilling Capital (Portugal); in addition to angel investors such as Juan Romero, former CEO of Pearson Latam; Hugo Arévalo, co-founder of ThePowerMBA; Brian Requarth, co-founder of Latitud and Viva Real; and Gonzalo Manrique, founder of Ironhack. This capital will be used to strengthen its technology and product development team, expand its content production, and consolidate its presence in Mexico.

The round has also the participation of other investors such as Diogo Monica, founder of Anchorage; Vasco Pedro, co-founder of Unbabel; Borja Aranguren, CEO of Cobee; Frederico Abreu, Managing Partner of Teman Capital and Advisor at Descomplica; Caspar Wahler and Phil Teixeira, directors of Hedosophia; and Marcos Alvarez, executive of EQT.

Founded in late 2020 by Frederico Bello, edtech offers a platform that empowers elementary school students to enhance their academic development through videos and proprietary content that fully covers the expected learning of the official curriculum for K12 education in the countries where it operates.

Developed by experts in pedagogy, with previous experience in leading educational publishers such as Santillana, and tech companies such as Crehana, Netflix and Uber; Luca allows students to take lessons, reinforce learning, receive tutor support and prepare for tests and quizzes all in a single app.

The experience is based on machine learning to offer a personalized experience and use microlearning and gamification techniques to achieve greater effectiveness, engagement and progress for students.

The   company   decided   to   begin   operations   in   Mexico,   which   represents   a potential market of 44 millions students. This market has a higher spending level on education, even more than developed edtech markets, and is one of the countries with highest penetration and use of mobile devices. In this country, Luca is starting with programs that cover elementary school and are aligned with the curricula of the Ministry of Public Education (SEP).

In the second half of 2021, Luca rapidly deployed a pilot in 40 schools in Mexico, Guatemala and Colombia, including public and private schools. In just 3 weeks it achieved its goal of acquiring more than 2,000 students, which validated its business model and approach, and allowed it to raise this pre-seed round in a very short time. Currently, the edtech company already has 50 workers, most of them in Mexico, and includes professionals in Spain, India, Peru, Colombia, Argentina and Venezuela.

With the new capital, the edtech startup will expand its technology and product development team, as well as its video production to cover all elementary education, focusing on mathematics, Spanish and science. It will also seek to consolidate its business lines both B2C, aimed at parents, and B2B, focused on schools. Finally, the company seeks to start expansion to other Spanish-speaking countries by the end of 2022. 

In the first 6 months of 2021, $6.4 millions of dollars were invested in Latin America,   with   the   education   vertical   being   one   of   the   most   important   for investors,   along   with   financial   services,   healthcare,   real   estate   and   retail (LAVCA).

Holon IQ reports that in the same time period, investment in edtech startups in LATAM and the Caribbean was 299 millions of dollars, 3.6 times more than in 2020. Around the world, Global Industry Analysts projects that the market for educational technology and smart classrooms will reach US$207 billion by 2026. 2020 was a catalyst that led to the global EdTech sector getting 10 billion dollars in funding in the first half of 2021, and today there are more than 30 unicorns in the world within this sector.

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