Fuel Ventures invests in Bunsen to build marketplace for school supplies

Bunsen, a marketplace for school supplies, today announced a pre-seed investment of £250,000 led by Fuel Ventures with other notable investors including the VP International of Snapchat.

What is Bunsen?

Bunsen is an online marketplace for school supplies that lets schools compare educational goods from trusted suppliers on a single website - think microscopes, footballs, whiteboards. This saves them time and money on the £3bn national annual spend on classroom equipment. When equipment arrives, schools can keep track of it in an integrated stock management app.

What are the issues with buying school supplies?

Currently, schools have to visit supplier sites one by one. It’s hard to find the best price for goods, and schools often lock themselves in with single suppliers, as it’s time consuming to shop around.

How does Bunsen fix these?

Bunsen lets schools compare products quickly on a single marketplace website, just as we’re used to doing when buying things for ourselves. When products arrive, teachers can book them out for lessons using a free integrated equipment scheduling app.

Why now?

School budgets tighter as ever, and school staff are looking to spend their budgets as efficiently as possible. Meanwhile, the pandemic forced schools online, accelerating their familiarity with technology. B2B marketplaces are transforming every industry: from the steel industry and cannabis industry, and now school supplies

What has Bunsen built so far?

After one term of trading, Bunsen already lists 7000 products for sale: largest collection of school science equipment in the UK. Leading school suppliers have listed their products from day one, and over 200 teachers use the equipment scheduling app weekly.

How is Bunsen different from other EdTech businesses?

Unlike other EdTech startups, Bunsen is free for schools to use and purchase from. Instead, businesses that sell to schools pay a fee when a purchase is made.

Meet the founder

Alex Tep, founder of Bunsen, said, “I used to be a teacher, so I know that buying classroom supplies is an outdated process. Some schools still rifle through paper catalogues and phone orders in. That hasn’t changed since the 1950s. It’s hard to find the best prices, so money that could be better spent on supporting children’s learning is wasted. These frustrations drove me to leave teaching, teach myself to code, and create Bunsen, an online marketplace that lets schools compare prices of educational equipment on a single website, just as you would when buying things for yourself.”

If you are an entrepreneur looking for pre-seed and seed investment please email me alexb@fuel.ventures or reach out to me on LinkedIn.

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