Introducing Turkish startups: GmPly

Though EdTech seems like a small category in Turkish startup scene, GmPly is coming strong and planning to go global

GmPly means “GamePlay” and the start-up is creating interactive training videos. They are also writing the scripts and shooting the videos, with a turnkey approach. Founded in 2017, the EdTech start-up has also an office San Francisco and aims to expand to the US market soon.  Currently the startup gained a new investment based on USD 1 million valuation. I had an interview with Gökçen Karan, Co-Founder and CEO at GmPly, and here’s what he told me.

-What exactly is GmPly? Can you tell me the story behind it?

GmPly is a software-as-a-service solution that allows corporate companies and instructors to create their own interactive training videos within minutes with real-time KPIs assessment. 

The story begins with an insight through traditional online training which looks great at first sight by being scalable, allowing companies to train thousands of employees in a shorter time and it’s way more affordable but is it really effective? 
GmPly was born by asking this question.

We realized that current online training design was developed 40  years ago to train our fathers and mothers where information  was in the encyclopedias. However now information is everywhere and instructors should be facilitators and their primary role should be inspiring learners. Corporate training’s completion rate is only 30% which means 7 out of 10 employees never complete the training and the company will never know if the 3 employees who completed were really engaged or day dreaming and inefficiently waste their time and training budget for post-training tests, surveys and interviews to assess. Research shows that interactivity and instant feedback increases retention rate by 22% and facilitates a 98% completion rate. Therefore, the learners should be re-installed as active “participants”, as opposed to passive “viewers” and the online training should align the learning medium with the recent trends like storytelling and gamification, offering a far more interactive learning environment. These are all what GmPly is designed to do. 

With GmPly, first; trainee is engaged more, by actively participating and branching out their own story. Second; trainee interacts more, by shaping their own journey by making their own decisions and choices during the training and learn from their own mistakes. And third; the company, HR department, coaches and trainers have more means of in-depth analysis via real-time KPI measurements, clear display of the decisions and choices made by the learner  and the areas of potential development, thus the company is dispensed of any need for any additional post assessments.

Gmply improves training engagement up to 700 % and increases completion rate to 98 %. It allows companies and organizations with the option to either create their own customized, on demand courses and allows them to edit and assign content for different groups of learners or choose and license content from a pool created by trainers anywhere in the world. 

-How important is e-learning for businesses? Can you clarify?

Covid-19 pandemic has surely revealed and emphasized the importance of e-learning and proved that  together with working from home practices, interactive video in e-learning will increasingly take more place in training efforts. 

-Can you mention your about your business model? 

We’re a SaaS platform and our business model is simple: companies or instructors create their trainings for free and buy license on a per-user basis to assign.

-Lately you raised funding from Buba Campus. How will you use the investment? What are your future plans?

We’ve become the market leader in Turkey in terms of number of clients and number of users. Our business model is mature and we’re ready to go global at the moment. We’ll use the investment to establish a base on the East Coast of the USA after the summer. By the time we will start pitching leads  online.

I know you also have an office in San Francisco. What are you planning for US market? Do you have any customers in US?

East Coast is the right place for an HRTech/EduTech company. We already have one customer on the East Coast . So our plan is to reach out potential leads from NY.

-As an entrepreneur, what are the biggest problems for the startups in Turkey?

Very long payment terms, rapid changing social, political agenda and economic problems are the major challenges in Turkey. Even though we’re facing a bloom in our business, fluctuations in currency rates and negative effect of the pandemic affects every industry as well as start-ups in terms of financial, moral and physical ways. But we know there is a bright future waiting for us in video e-learning. Also to have investors like İTU Arı Teknokent and Buba Campus make us feel confident in every situation.

Image: Gökçen Karan (left, CEO & Co-Founder), Kalde Ernart (COO, Co-Founder)

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