Argentinean technology startup Grupo Vi-da has raised funds from three international venture capital funds, as it attempts to close Latin America’s digital literacy gap.
The funds will be used to launch a new educational platform aimed at offering soft skills development and project-based learning.
The Argentinean company — along with one of the investors, Omidyar Network, owned by Pierre Omidyar, founder of American online retailing giant eBay — says it will also arm teachers with technology tools in a bid to simplify learning for students.
With access to over 600,000 titles and partnership with over 600 publishers, Grupo Vi-da houses one of the largest and most diverse collections of Spanish-language digital content.
The company says 90% of Latin Americans have access to mobile broadband, yet only a 50% of the population accesses educational content online.
Poverty, lack of digital skills, and a shortage in locally-relevant content are some of the factors hindering digital education services in the region.
Around 46% of 15 year olds in Latin America do not meet minimum standards of literacy and text comprehension, says the company, citing a 2015 study by the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).
“Reading comprehension is the foundation to develop students’ critical thinking, communication, and creativity. Technology can be a valuable educational tool to support teachers and students,” said Viviana Zocco, CEO and Founder of Grupo Vi-da.
Its technology platform analyzes students’ performance data, identifying why a certain student is struggling with his studies, and then recommends suitable digital content. Parents can also learn how to support their child’s education at home.