Interview: Edtech Startup Gnowbe Joins KPMG Digital Village

Interview: Edtech Startup Gnowbe Joins KPMG Digital Village

by July 3, 2017
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Gnowbe, an edtech startup headquartered in Silicon Valley and Singapore, has partnered with KPMG Digital Village in Singapore to provide the firm’s clients with its digital learning platform.

Gnowbe is a mobile micro-learning solution that uses analytics, gamification and personalized learning to develop skills and mindsets of employees. The company says it aspires to “revolutionize corporate education through transformational learning – available anytime, anywhere.”

Edtech startup Gnowbe

Using the platform, companies can quickly curate and deliver “just-in-time” content in experiential ways covering topics such as onboarding, product sales, management training, customer service and agile training and innovation culture.

SO-YOUNG KANG CEO co-founder of Gnowbe

So-Young Kang, CEO and co-founder of Gnowbe

“The main problem companies face is how to keep employees knowledgeable and continuously developing skills to stay relevant and competitive. The majority of solutions in the e-learning and even newly emerging mobile learning – or mLearning – space were offering great content but still in a passive way,” So-Young Kang, CEO and co-founder of Gnowbe, told Fintechnews.sg.

“From my experience as an experiential facilitator and trainer to thousands of people globally, I wanted to replicate that experience using technology. I couldn’t find a platform that brought the content to life in a way that was personalized to me and challenged me to think and apply what I learned through daily practice.”

Gnowbe aims to do just that and “push learning to the next level.” The solution brings content to life by encouraging users to not just learn but also think, apply and share.

“It’s a highly experiential platform that moves individuals in and out of the app to take their learning and apply it in real life where work actually happens,” Kang said. “For example, sales effectiveness is not just about learning about new products and techniques, it’s about practicing small behaviors and techniques every day.”

KPMG Digital Village

Gnowbe has joined KPMG Digital Village, an initiative launched in April 2016 to facilitate collaboration between corporates and the startup community.

jan reinmueller KPMG Digital Village

Jan Reinmueller, Head of Digital Village, KPMG in Singapore

According to Jan Reinmueller, Head of Digital Village, KPMG in Singapore, Gnowbe’s mobile first approach, continuous feedback and social features, give it a distinct advantage over traditional learning and knowledge management tools.

“Their solution serves as a great platform and has the potential to significantly change the way people learn, especially in the financial sector where content is dense and complex,” he stated.

KPMG Digital Village functions as a digital ecosystem that leverages the firm’s global innovation network of corporates, startups and investors.

“We work with corporates wherever they are on their innovation journey, to design new strategies, products or services through co-innovation with startups,” Reinmueller explained. “For startups, we support them as their business needs change, whether it’s helping with bookkeeping, financing and fundraising, or generating new growth opportunities with corporate clients to scale and commercialize.”

What makes KPMG Digital Village unique is its “co-innovation model,” he said. “Like a living lab for innovation, we co-innovate with startups to turn the most promising ideas into robust, practical solutions that address specific industry and business challenges.”

Driving “co-innovation”

Corporates are increasingly opening up to the idea of “co-innovating” with startups rather than considering them as competitors, a strategy for them to create and maintain a strong competitive positioning.

“We believe that this trend presents significant opportunities for startup partners of Digital Village who can leverage upon the close, existing relationships we already have with corporates across Southeast Asia,” Reinmueller said.

“In the financial industry, there is definitely a demand for impactful, contextualized, and market-ready solutions. An immediate opportunity for fintech startups with customer-facing solutions, regtech, or solutions for financial inclusion is to participate in the 2017 Global Fintech Hackcelerator, powered by KPMG Digital Village.”

The Global Fintech Hackcelerator is part of the Singapore Fintech Festival, which is taking place from November 13 to 17, 2017. The Global Fintech Hackcelerator aims to provide the most promising startups and teams with the opportunity to work with client owners and some of the world’s biggest financial services firms to contextualize their solutions to real business needs.

The top 20 startups will receive up to S$20,000 per team. In addition, the top 3 startups will receive an additional cash prize of S$50,000 each.

Moving forward

GnowbeKang, a former Citibanker,  has big ambitions for Gnowbe which she hopes one day will become the number one leader in mLearning for financial services companies globally.

In the near future, Kang said the company will be investing more in data analytics and reporting in order to create even better personalized learning experiences for employees and managers.

Gnowbe is also looking to form strategic partnerships with content providers such as educators, industry leaders and experts, to complement companies’ proprietary content with  topics such as digital transformation, Fintech, cyber security, data privacy, and big data.

Gnowbe Academy, to be launched in the coming months, will offer a set of basic “mini-MBA programs” for companies and employees.

In May, Gnowbe raised US$1.7 million in a seed funding round from investors that included Coent Ventures, 500 Startups and POEMS Ventures, to fuel growth. The company recently completed integration with leading CRMs, marketing and social media services players including Salesforce, HubSpot and Slack, to automate workflow.

 

Featured image via Gnowbe.

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