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How EFSI benefits SMEs in Europe - Inveready case study: Gamelearn (Spain), ICT

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Creativity is in the DNA at Gamelearn, founded in 2008 by Maider Apraiz, Ibrahim Jabary and Eduardo Monfort. Mai considered dance as a career before moving into business, while Ibrahim was a serial entrepreneur in his student days. This combination of business acumen and artistic vision has been key to the company’s success. “Our online corporate training platform solves a longstanding problem for businesses and HR: face-to-face training is expensive and time-consuming, and the alternative, online reading courses, has a low completion rate of around 25%, meaning more money wasted. To increase engagement with the online training process, we put courses into a fun virtual game format,” Ibrahim explains. Companies can test their employees’ negotiation skills on board a sailing ship in Renaissance Italy, or stretch their team-building capabilities on a desert island. Feedback from users is overwhelmingly positive: a 94% completion rate.

The founders met through an MBA course in Madrid. Discussing their careers over coffee, they initially launched their own face-to-face corporate HR consultancy. With time, they moved to online courses: “We were inspired by Silicon Valley”, Mai laughs. “We were thinking big and wanted to grow internationally, so we started to look into building online courses. We also loved games, and saw the opportunity to be creative, to do something different.” This led to Gamelearn.

In its second year, the company rolled out their first game, Merchant, an online negotiation course set in 15th-century Venice. The student plays the role of a young merchant whose mission is to become the greatest merchant of the age. It proved a huge success. “Suddenly clients were contacting us. We expanded quickly from Spain and Portugal, to Germany, France, the U.S., Mexico, China…” Now, the company aims to expand into new markets. “Our challenge now is to produce more games, and produce them faster. There’s a lot of demand,” Maider explains. “We want to be the Netflix of games for learning”, says Mai.

In November 2018, Gamelearn secured an EU-guaranteed loan from Inveready, backed by the EIF. “We want to grow in many different countries, boosting out sales and marketing teams, but also build a new platform which will allow customers to customise the games more to their needs, even building their own games.” This financing has created 22 new jobs in the company. “This is a revolutionary shift, both for us as a firm and for the sector,” Mai says. “It wasn’t easy to begin with, and many clients were apprehensive at first, but today gamified corporate training has really caught on. I think we are changing the culture of corporate training.”

Company: Gamelearn (Spain)

Type of business: ICT; Game-based corporate learning/training

EIF financing: InnovFin SMEG

Financial intermediary: Inveready

For further information abiout EIF intermediaries in Spain, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/es

 

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