German startup Sdui digitalises schools across Europe – acquires Swiss PUPIL and Belgia’s Konecto App
Koblenz, Germany, 24 February 2022:
The school platform Sdui has eased the suffering of many schools during the pandemic. In lockdown, Sdui made data protection-compliant communication and organisation of everyday school life possible, impacting more than 4,500 schools in Germany, so far. Now the 24-year- old founder and CEO Daniel Zacharias wants to digitalise schools across Europe with two recent platform acquisitions in Belgium and Switzerland and a newly expanded executive team. Sdui’s goal: to become the market leader in Europe.
In order to grow even faster on an international scale, Sdui GmbH has now acquired two school platforms abroad. “With the majority acquisition of the Swiss Pupil AG and the purchase of the Belgian Konecto App, there are many advantages for all our customers,” says Daniel Zacharias. “All three companies have built high-quality products for the needs of their local schools.”
Through integrations and collaborations, it would now be possible to better pool resources and benefit from each other. Zacharias adds: “Our vision is to use technology to change education in a sustainable way. Under the Sdui umbrella, we can do this even better together in the individual markets in the future. We are constantly developing our products to build a comprehensive operating system for schools.”
From a start-up to an international company: Four years after its launch, Sdui’s platform has proven itself in everyday school life. In 2021, the company tripled the number of schools using Sdui. “Schools no longer want to nor can do without our solution,” says Zacharias. “Our platform not only makes communication between teachers, parents and children easier, including beyond lockdowns and hybrid classes. It makes it possible to organise everyday school life digitally as a whole.” Therefore, Sdui offers features such as chat, timetable, digital class book or translations.
The business model has convinced renowned investors such as venture capitalist HV Capital, investment holding Franz Haniel & Cie and the founders of the Unicorn Sennder, who invested in the edtech company in a Series A financing round in March 2021. Zacharias has used the raised capital to implement digitalisation in schools abroad as well. “Even though education systems differ from country to country, the problems and challenges in everyday school life are often the same,” the Sdui founder states. How can schools reduce the time spent on administration? How can teachers reach parents and students with a streamlined communication? “Sdui offers solutions that work internationally. We are currently experiencing this in the six countries in where we are active,” according to Zacharias.
The Swiss start-up Pupil was founded in 2018 by former teacher Arber Wagner. The school management software is used by more than 250 schools there. “Pupil currently offers the best and most secure solution for schools on the Swiss market with over 45 modules,” Zacharias claims.
The Konecto app is used by more than 400 schools in Belgium. “Konecto is the market leader in the French-speaking region of Wallonia and offers us the opportunity to take the next steps in the French-speaking market,” explains the Sdui founder.
The acquired companies are to remain independent. The platforms will continue to operate under their established brands. This means that Sdui is currently active in six countries. The further plan for internationalisation: In 2022, Zacharias and his team of currently 150 employees want to enter six more markets and bring Sdui to a total of 10,000 schools.
Professionalisation: Three experienced managers complement the Executive Board
“At Sdui, we are convinced that we need the growth to really make a difference in education and to further advance the digitalisation of everyday school life,” says Zacharias. In order to continue to successfully scale internationally, CEO Zacharias, CFO Carsten Schäfer and CSO Simon Desiere have brought in reinforcements.
Daniela Bojahr joined Sdui’s management board on February 1st as CRO. Previously, she was “Senior Vice President Sales” for the DACH region and Central Europe at Statista. At Sdui, she is responsible for sales and customer centricity as well as international business. Bojahr: “For me, it is extremely motivating to make schools’ everyday life easier by introducing Sdui and to be able to accompany them in further important steps of digitalisation.”
The further development of the platform into an operating system for schools is enhanced by two additional managers. With Philip Heimes as the new CTO, Sdui now has an expert from the American edtech industry on board. Among other positions, he was “Head of Interoperability” at PowerSchool, the leading edtech provider in the US. He also managed “K12 Data Interoperability Projects” for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. Most recently, Heimes was CTO at Innovation Natives, which realised digitalisation projects for Deutsche Bank and PlayStation, among others. “Schools need a future-proof infrastructure when it comes to digitalisation. This always involves children’s data, which must be protected. I am looking forward to contributing to data integrity in schools at Sdui,” says Heimes.
Lukas Lehmann joins Sdui as CPO from the acquired Swiss company Pupil. As co-founder, Lehmann played a leading role in building up the successful Swiss school software and was most recently CTO/CPO at Pupil.
Before that, he was Head of Cloud Services at Swisscom. Lehmann: “Pupil’s experience in the development of comprehensive software solutions for schools and Sdui’s scaling competence complement each other perfectly to build a market-leading product for Europe.”
Sdui simplifies communication and organisation in schools and daycare centres. The aim of the platform is to reduce the time spent on administrative tasks and to make learning more effective and accessible. For this purpose, Sdui develops GPDR-compliant solutions that connect teachers, parents and children. With features such as chat, video calls, cloud, timetable and translations, the platform creates the infrastructure for digital learning. Sdui was founded in Koblenz in 2018 and is now one of the fastest-growing start-ups in the German edtech industry.
As of February 2022, Sdui employs around 150 people and has reached more than 5,000 schools and daycare centres in Europe. For more information, visit sdui.de.
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