This interview is to present EVULPO, an innovative company based in Zurich with an international heart and an ambitious goal: bring affordable education to students aging 9 to 19 years old across the world. It all started with an idea born from the imagination of three friends already active in the tutoring industry which understood the market was “hungry” for educational content to be enjoyed with the support of digital tools. In fact, it seems like EVULPO is answering the students need for flexible and tailored classes shaped according to the school curricula. Following the interview with Dr. Christian Marty, EVULPO CEO and co-founder.
Dr. Marty thank you for having this interview with Venti Blog, may I ask how the idea of EVULPO was born?
In 2017, together with two colleagues, we built a tutoring company. It was a classic tutoring company, a physical company and it proved to be a big success, but we soon realised kids needed something different. In fact, many of them expressed the wish to learn online, with the support of videos and without the need to carry a heavy book around. So, we listened to them, to the kids, and created EVULPO, an online educational platform, with lots of learning material available. You could say, we listened to what the customer was demanding and created a product based on the customer feedback. Moreover, we wanted to be international, therefore together with the help of our investors, we analysed the curricula of several EU countries, focusing on the age group of kids from 9 to 19 years old, the market segment from first grade to the final school year and created an offer which is country specific.
You can’t build a great product without a great team, what is the role that your people play in the creation of EVULPO?
We built the platform with the help of 250 people. We have teams in any area where the platform is present, for instance: in Milano we collaborate with 30/40 people, same in London and Madrid. They contribute to EVULPO development by analysing the school curricula and making sure the offered content is relevant and up to date. The first step for us is to understand the local educational market, the second step is to create a compelling learning material. We work a lot with freelancers while the core team is focused on tech, marketing, and content creation.
How can users interact with your content? What is your business model?
EVULPO is web-based (https://evulpo.com/it/it), a mobile app is not available yet. For the platform to monetise, we made a “premium model” available to the user. It is of course always possible to register for free and, even in this case, you’d have access to most of the learning material, but of course we aim at converting as much users as possible to the “premium feature”. If you navigate the platform as a free user, you are going to encounter “blocking tools” such as adds, or a limit to the download of the material. This is to encourage users to access the “premium” features while still making the platform available to everyone.
Your idea is very innovative, but so are plenty of other e-learning companies in the market. How do you differentiate yourself from the competitors?
EVULPO is very different with respect to other competitors working in the e-learning industry. First, EVULPO radically focuses on the school curriculum, in this way, we create a learning experience that is custom-made and tailored to each country. Secondly, our target is very clear, we reach students from age 9 to 19, this is our focus, it is not professionals, it is not adult learning, all the content is created with our target in mind, so we make sure to stay relevant and appealing to our customers. Thirdly, we focus on many important subjects based on the curricula requirements, math, psychology, etc. there is a huge range of available topics, and you won’t find such combination in any other operators of the e-learning industry.
You started as a small company in Switzerland, but you are coming close to become an international player. How to do you see EVULPO evolving in the future?
We started in Switzerland, and we saw that our model worked as we got very good results. This gave us the confidence to replicate the model into other European countries, so we started expanding in neighbouring markets, Italy, France, UK. We learn by doing, if we manage to understand one market, then we take the lessons learnt and apply it to open new business possibilities. For instance, once we understood the Spanish market, then we moved to the Portuguese one, and so on. We want to growth sustainably, step by step and perhaps, one day we are going to be able to reach further markets such as South America and Africa.
Would you think of EVULPO as a company having a social impact?
When we were building the platform, we realised that connecting business impact and social impact is easier in the education sector. There are not so many business fields where you can have an impact, maybe if you work with environment related topics, poverty, or social work, those could be relevant, but we started from our experience, the tutoring school. Classic tutoring is very expensive, but with the help of the digital platform, we made learning easier to access. In a way, this is the impact we have, even If social impact is a broader topic, but we do realise that we are able to reach a huge group of students and we take pride in this.
EVULPO is an innovative company that has modernised the old concept of turoting by turning it into a digital platform capable of reaching students across Europe.