London-based Jolt raises €12.7 million to disrupt higher education

UK startup Jolt, the flexible business school offering affordable alternatives to traditional MBA courses, has raised a further €12.7 million, led by Balderton Capital, to help professionals further their careers through its revolutionary education programs. This takes its total raised to €20.9 million. 

Jolt was founded in 2015 by entrepreneurs Roei Deutsch, Nitzan Cohen-Arazi and Nadav Leshem. Disillusioned by the current higher education system bubble and falling student numbers, the trio used past experiences in alternative training and education programs to launch Jolt’s live video courses marketplace in 2016. 

A year later, Jolt opened its first student campus in Tel-Aviv, providing affordable and flexible alternative diplomas to the expensive, stilted MBAs offered by traditional educational institutions. Each of Jolt’s campuses provide high-end, live video lessons and workshops run by the very best global business leaders from the likes of Google, Netflix and Tesla. Jolt now has three sites in London in Shoreditch, Soho and Liverpool Street, seven across Israel and is finalising plans to launch campuses in Manhattan in 2020. In London alone, Jolt is now bigger than London Business School in terms of student numbers, with enrollments growing 25% month-on-month while being 18 times cheaper.

Its courses are aimed at professionals with undergraduate degrees and at least two years’ experience, or three years experience without a degree, who have typically reached a point in their career when they want to learn new skills, move up the career ladder, or move into a new industry but do not want to put their lives on hold for learning. 

A Jolt NAMBA (Not-An-MBA) programme, for instance, is around six times cheaper than traditional UK MBAs. Additionally, with Jolt, students only accumulate (and pay for) the classes they need to do to build their own diploma and if they don’t want to complete the full programme, they don’t have to. The lessons additionally revolve around the practical application of skills, debates and discussions, role-playing and other interactive tasks, making them more immediately useful in a student’s day-to-day career. This flexibility and price have led to a student satisfaction rate 40% higher than traditional MBAs. 

“The pricing model works well for working professionals as you can freeze your account for a minimal amount if you’re away for a long time or have a particularly busy time at work and the range of courses is quite incredible, whether it’s marketing, finance, product and personal growth. It offers an all-round curriculum to get you up and running and ready to try your luck in a startup or upskill you to go for new jobs,” Liat Shtainberg, Head of People Strategy at MagicLab, said.

James Wise, Partner, Balderton Capital said: “There is a rapidly increasing demand from both employees and employers for more adaptive forms of professional education. Jolt combines a powerful tech platform with a deep understanding of how people really learn to fulfil this demand, giving the learner complete control over when, what and with whom they study. We believe Jolt has the potential to help tens of millions of students, who couldn’t otherwise afford the time or cost of a traditional business school, to gain new skills and meet new people” .

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