Social learning platform BlikBook announces $1.3 million investment

BlikBook, a question and answer-based social learning platform aimed at higher education institutes has announced a new $1.3 million (£847,457) investment.

The funding was led by Leaf Investments, with contributions from Delta Partners' Bank of Ireland Start-up and Emerging Sectors Fund, Enterprise Ireland and existing shareholder Forward Investment Partners.

BlikBook was first founded in the UK in 2010 by Cheyne Tan and Barnarby Voss before moving to Dublin in 2013.

The service enables students and lecturers to set up online study rooms for specific courses. Students then ask questions which can be answered by both peers and academics whilst the later can flag answers that they believe are of particular use or interest.

There is also an option to remain anonymous incase students are embarrassed about their contribution, as well as suggested topics based on past activity of the user and their peers.

The company believes that the platform can solve both the problem of students being unhappy with the amount of contact time whilst at university and lecturer's frustration with lack of attendance and contributions in seminars.

"We've addressed these issues through building features allowing students to seek academic support without embarrassment, which they can get from their lecturer or other students who can be outside of their social group," says Voss.

"By centralising support in an easy to use way, lecturers report this saves them time due to less repetition of common issues, and all students benefit from a single post rather than just the individual seeking support."

According to the BlikBook website, the service is currently being used in a third of UK and Irish universities. It is hoped that the cash will allow the company to now expand to US institutes.