(6/6) Kleiner Perkins big bet on "MasterClass for High-Schoolers"

and much more in this inaugural Geeks Of The Valley Newsletter!

Welcome to the 1st edition of the Geeks Of The Valley Newsletter where we share our written memo on startups that have yet to raise any funding or announce it publicly, new startup ideas from some of the most original minds in tech and VC’s, and a must-read tactical advice from founders/VC’s that have built and invested in great companies.


🏢 Venture Insights

🎙️ The Pitch

Emile Learning is a subscription-based digital learning platform for secondary students. We are addressing the shortfalls of standard remote learning by providing professional-quality live streams and a proprietary LMS focused on content mastery. Our vision is to develop a global community of learners who are no longer constrained by where they were born or the resources available at their school. - Emile

👥 Team

✨ The Sparks 

  • The unbundling of K-12 education:

The vast adaptation of distant schooling has accelerated the trend in online learning. As students move forward independently (less physical interaction with teachers and classmates), there is a need to re-structure the way the curriculum is being constructed, to create a better learning experience that can fit into this so-called new norm. The demand for home-schooling has not seen a downward trend for the past 1.5 decades, and it might never be either. Hence, solidifying the justification above.

  • Make a way for affordable learning:

According to HSBC, the average total expenditure on children’s education from primary up to the end of their undergraduate study cost them about US$59,000, which is 35% higher than the global average expenditure. Given the context, UK pays out US$25,000 whereas Canadian parents consume just about US$ 23,000. This expenditure comes at the cost of their spending on other plans, which includes 21% on extended working hours, 20% make less of a contribution to long-term savings and 40% foregoing on leisure.

With just US$20/month, students can get access to an unlimited list of courses offered by Emile. This comes with propositions such as a community of learners and teachers, credit-earning for the AP exams, and vetted teachers/instructors.

  • Blending core curriculum and interest-driven learning:

Learning itself is a lifetime journey. It will never end regardless of where you end up getting your qualifications from. The ability to give students the power to construct their own learning path will be critical to their future careers. In the long run, students that have exposure to autarchic and innovative learning have better reservations about the job information.

  • Note: This analysis was originally written in December 2020. More details can be found here.

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💡 Startup Ideas

  1. Dan Romero, ex-VP of Coinbase’s International Business.

  1. Cindy Bi, General Partner at CapitalX (6 unicorns + 4 soon-to-be unicorns (currently valued over $500m+)).

  1. Erik Torenberg, Chairman and Founder of On Deck + Partner & Co-founder of Village Global.


📚Top 5 Tactical Advice..

  1. Unpacking 5 of Atlassian’s Most Unconventional Company-Building Moves

  2. Between Sales and Product: Building Out Self-Serve and Customer Experience at Notion & Dropbox

  3. How To Get Your Company Better Media Coverage

  4. Facebook Ad Tips and Tricks

  5. 5 Steps to Make Remote Meetings Work


🎙️ Episode Of The Week

🎧 Listen here

Jay is a managing partner at Leonis Capital, an early-stage venture capital fund that invests in AI-first companies and the automation economy. Previously, Jay is a Partner at T Fund (fka TCL Ventures), a global CVC arm by TCL Corp, one of the largest consumer electronics companies in the world.

Jay is also responsible for helping define TCL’s strategic roadmap as well as corporate’s M&A and partnerships. Prior to that, Jay was a Senior Director / Partner at Walden Venture Capital, one of the pioneer venture capital firms in Silicon Valley, with a global presence in Asia and Israel.

Prior to Walden, Jay was a Principal at Granite Ventures (ex- H&Q venture group), a premier San Francisco-based VC firm that manages over $1 billion AUM.


Thanks for reading! See you next week, geeks 👋

If you know anyone that you’d like to be featured in our podcast, feel free to send a note to geeks@geeksofthevalley.com or reach out here!