The future of technology is being shaped with the fourth industrial revolution on our doorsteps, and we are seeing our entire society and our way of life impacted. The fourth revolution is a new epoch in which disruptive technologies and trends such as the IoT, robotics, VR and AI are being developed and changing the way we live and work.
We’ve already seen the education sector undergo tremendous changes. With all of the information on the internet, people are relying on technology (and new tech startups) for their education more than ever.
For example, these days if you want to learn a language you can just download an app to get started – not to mention access to a huge amount of resources just a click away.
Edtech companies are writing the future of education. From early childhood education to language learning, online learning, study tools and course materials, there is a huge market for those who are leveraging technology for educational purposes.
When it comes to the EU, investments in edtech have been growing significantly for such a young industry. Over $1 billion was invested in European edtech companies between 2014 and 2018, and edtech investment reached a record high of $450 million in 2018 over 152 transactions, a 62% increase over 2017. This is a significant increase for a young industry, as the average transaction size has increased from $1.8 million to $3 million.
Here we’ve selected 10 startups that are reshaping education with innovative technology:
OpenClassrooms – Paris-based OpenClassrooms is an online education platform in Europe that offers targeted courses with diplomas to help people access some of the most sought-after jobs on the market. From web development courses to digital project management, its tailor-made classes fit your needs and give you the flexibility to reach your goals. Founded in 2013, OpenClassrooms closed a €51 million Series B round in May 2018, which will allow the company to strengthen its leading position in the online course market.
Lingvist – With offices in London and Tallinn, the language learning platform Lingvist offers speedy language online courses that use machine learning algorithms. Founded in 2013, the startup aims to build a tech-driven adaptive and mathematically optimised way of learning a new language. It’s designed to calculate the most appropriate time to help you move on with your classes. In 2015, the company raised $8 million in Series A from top investor Japanese e-commerce and online services giant Rakuten, local investment firm SmartCap, Inventure, Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn.
Pi-Top – This London-based startup is a rather unusual company, which makes it very interesting. It focuses on teaching STEM education – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – in an interdisciplinary and applied way. Pi-top wants your children to ‘learn how to code’ through their innovative and entertaining range of products, including drones or laptops (e.g. pi-top  introduces you to physical computing). Founded in 2014, the company has raised $16 million in July 2018 in Series B funding and released their latest product in January 2019: the pi-top 4, a new programmable computing platform that helps students and educators to learn how to design and code by combining physical computing and project-based learning into one easy-to-use-system.
Teacherly believes in the power of technology for learning. If you’re a teacher you probably want to improve your teaching skills, and that’s what Teacherly is about. It aims to create a global community of teachers to improve learning outcomes by sharing content, best practices and using professional development materials. The platform allows teachers to prepare lessons with interactive tools (quizzes, brainstorming, extra curricular activities, etc…), collaborate with other teachers on lessons, and track single student progress through analytical tools. Created in 2015 in London, Teacherly raised a $1.5 million seed round in September 2019, with the support of their investor Shorooq Partners.
Ironhack – Based in Madrid with offices in Miami and Amsterdam, Ironhack provides coding and web design bootcamps to prepare the next generation of data analysts, UX/UI designer and web developers. With more than 600 partners, nine campuses and over 2,500 graduates, it has created a valuable network for tech entrepreneurs and people who desire to work in the tech industry. Ironhack offers intensive courses, for nine weeks full-time or 24 weeks part-time, and connects you with a strong network of companies. Founded in 2013, Ironhack raised $4 million in July 2019 in order to expand on a global scale.
Zen Educate wants to solve the problem of education recruitment by connecting teachers with openings in schools without having to go through an education recruiter. The startup was founded based on the simple observation that working with an education recruiter is frustrating for schools, as recruiters are driven by their commissions and the more they charge schools, the less the pay teachers, the more they take with them. This seriously hinders the education system schools and students rely on. Zen Educate provides an online platform that matches teachers with relevant openings in schools. You just need to fill in some information about yourself, your needs and Zen Educate takes care of finding you the appropriate position you’re looking for. Founded in 2017, the London-based education startup has raised a €6.7 million seed round in September 2019 to improve its matching algorithm and services.
Klaxoon develops a suite of applications that facilitate collaboration during meetings through quizzes, surveys, brainstorming activities, which represent “30 to 50% of their working time, or 16 years in an employee’s life” according to CEO Mathieu Beucher. In May 2018, the French startup announced that it had closed a $50 million round with Idinvest, Bpifrance, Sofiouest and the American fund White Star Capital. Founded at the end of 2014 in Rennes by Mathieu Beucher, Klaxoon had previously raised €5 million in the fall of 2016. This new round should help the startup to develop its R&D and presence in North America.
DataCamp – Founded in 2013, DataCamp offers interactive courses in R, Python, Sheets, SQL and shell. Everything about data science, statistics and machine learning you can learn with a team of expert teachers from the comfort of your browser with video lessons and fun coding challenges and projects. With a strong community of almost five million learners around the world at leading companies, DataCamp employs now 205 people and is headquartered in Cambridge, USA and Leuven, Belgium, with offices in London as well. In December 2018, DataCamp raised $25 million to customise its online courses.
Touch Surgery – Founded in 2013 by Dr. Jean Nehme and Dr. Andre Chow in London, the Touch Surgery platform aims to fill the gap when it comes to surgery. Based on a simple observation, there are five billion people without safe access to safe surgical services. This interactive surgical simulator is designed to help healthcare professionals by providing them with a realistic and detailed guide to every step of a procedure. Users quickly learn how to perform surgery and can even rehearse before an operation. In addition, the Touch Surgery features an AI-powered surgical video management platform that allows users to retrieve sensitive information from video uploads. Users can upload, annotate, analyse and share their content in an interactive way with other professionals. With a total funding of €20.3 million since its foundation, Touch Surgery takes surgery training to augmented reality.
Primo Toys is a London-based edtech startup founded in 2013 with the goal to teach kids how to learn, create and play using technology. Its most successful toy is named Cubetto, a screenless coding toy for girls and boys aged 3 to 6, and consists of blocks, maps, and storybooks that allow your children to learn in an interactive way, while being creative. Their commitment to teach young generations with new technologies and tools may just be a way to reshape education in the digital age. Since it was founded the company has raised €1.1 million to expand their product range.
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