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August 5, 2022 | ± 5 minutes

NOTE: Today’s issue is provided by our friends at Unicorner. It includes an overview and analysis of “Subject” – a startup we also found interesting. To get more issues like this one, you can subscribe here.

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Subject – Custom educational curriculum for all

Subject (previously known as Emile Learning) is an accredited learning platform seeking to lower the barriers to accessing a quality high school education.

It has over 75 courses across core subjects, electives, AP classes, and more. The courses are broken down into digestible short videos taught by carefully selected teachers.

🔗 Check them out:

Business Model

There are two tiers that users can choose from: Basic and Premium For-Credit.

The tiers cost $115 annually ($14.99/month, billed monthly) for Basic, and $840 annually ($99.9/month, billed monthly) for Premium For-Credit.

A free preview is available, which allows everyone to access the beginning of all classes free of charge.

Traction and Fundraising

  • Raised $29.4 million Series A, with investors like Owl Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Moving Capital, SoftBank’s Opportunity Fund, Supernode Ventures, and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, and angels including Aviv Nevo and hockey player Alex Killorn
  • Accredited by College Board, NCAA, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Cognia, and University of California
  • Used by over 100 schools, districts, and organizations


  • Michael Vilardo, President: Previously Digital Product Manager @ Nike, Co-Founder & CEO @ NomΛd (acquired), Launch Strategy & Operations @ Uber, Co-Founder & CEO @ HomeTech, Co-Founder & CEO @ Cliq, MBA @ UCLA, Philosophy, Politics, & Economics BA @ UPenn

  • Felix Ruano, CEO: Currently Advisory Council Member @ Asia Society; Previously CEO @ Vault Prep, Business Analyst @ McKinsey & Company, Business Development Associate @ Grata, Private Equity Analyst @ BayBoston, Economics @ Harvard



Unicorner’s Analysis

Education is not equally accessible to everyone around the world. Whether it’s due to access to certain courses or the teachers introducing subjects, the preparation one receives in high school can vastly change the direction of one’s early adult life. As the income gap for different communities continues to grow, Subject is focusing on lowering the barriers to quality high school education.

While competition in the education space is plenty, Subject is staying ahead of the curve by addressing some of the biggest challenges edtech companies face. One of the most fundamental problems is the disconnect between educators and business owners. Subject tackles this by sourcing the best teachers it can find around the U.S. and flying them to its HQ in Los Angeles to shoot videos. This allows business decision-makers at Subject to work more closely with educators when designing courses and delivering content.

Another challenge is low usage and customer retention, especially as attention spans are shortened. While increasing customer acquisition boosts revenue, research shows that retaining customers boosts revenue even more. As such, Subject’s curriculum is designed for retention, and they break down lectures into more digestible short videos, a strategy adopted by other online course sites like Udemy and Coursera.

Through human-graded assignments, midterms, and official transcripts upon course completion, users are also more engaged and more likely to finish the courses they start. Subject lets users start unlimited courses, which is attractive to students looking to try out different things to find what they like in a low-risk, high-reward fashion.

While revenue through individual subscriptions is great, the company might consider landing government contracts that complement its current business models.

Further Reading

Hope you enjoyed today’s Startups Insider. It was written by Parham Hajzavar and provided by the Unicorner Team

To get more insights like this from the folks at Unicorner, subscribe here.





Wyatt Cavalier

Wyatt Cavalier

With a background in finance & intelligence analysis, Wyatt has an unhealthy obsession with finding the best blue chip investment opportunities. His previous newsletter, Fractional, resonated deeply with subscribers, bringing actionable insights and unconventional trading strategies. His rare book collection specializes in banned editions. He currently lives in Spain with his beautiful wife, three young boys, and dog Monty.

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