Today Sweden-based imagiLabs, a female founded startup that makes coding more accessible to young girls, has raised €250K in pre-seed funding to further equip the next generation of working women with critical coding skills.
Edtech startup imagiLabs was founded in 2018 based on the idea of EIT Digital Master School alumnus Dora Palfi. Knowing that there is a lack of woman studying technology, Palfi began to think about how to go about changing the ratio of woman in tech.
In 2019, imagiLabs launched a Kickstarter campaign that allowed the women to take the imagiCharm product from prototype to manufactured product. Meantime, the startup was the first Swedish company to be accepted into Apple’s Entrepreneur Camp (spring 2019 cohort) and was selected for Google for Startups (Female Founders Fall 2019 cohort).
ImagiLabs creates fun wearable gadgets like ‘imagiCharm’, which are customisable through coding to spark the interest of teenage girls, and a mobile app that teaches programming and enables girls to connect over their interest for creative coding. Its products were launched and started to ship in June 2020, after which imagiCharm’s sales increased by 300% between Q3 and Q4 of 2020. Founder Palfi commented: “In the second half of 2020 we focused on getting as much feedback as possible from the first imagiCharm owners and incorporate their feedback into the improvements we are making, mostly on the imagiLabs app and our learning content!”
Since imagiLabs’ app launch nine months ago, over 10,000 coding projects have been created on the platform. According to Palfi the product, app and community helps make her mission come reality. “Through our community we hear stories from girls who decided to try coding because of imagiLabs and who changed their mind about tech because of us.”
Among the angel investors in this round is Eros Resmini, founder and Managing Partner at The Mini Fund. He says to be “delighted” to support imagiLabs on its mission to bridge the gender divide in tech. “The company has created a vibrant community for young girls who want to learn to code. As the proud father of a daughter, I know that fun and social learning processes can foster passions that last a lifetime.” Other investors are David Baszucki, CEO of gaming giant Roblox; members of Atomico’s Angel Program; and Propel Capital, the investment arm of Stockholm’s leading tech incubator Sting.
The financing will be used to maintain imagiLabs’ international growth and to continue to foster an engaged community of young girl coders, who use the imagiLabs apps to learn from each other, share coding tips and designs, and build relationships. CEO Dora Palfi, one of the three female founders, said: “We will be using it to expand the capabilities of the imagiLabs app and generate more learning content for our community so that we can even better deliver on our promise of making learning to code fun! We plan to reach thousands more teenage girls with the joy of coding in the coming months.”
Roberto Prieto, Chief Education Officer of EIT Digital, commented: “Dora shows two things: she demonstrates that the power of combining deep tech education with innovation and entrepreneurship skills is bringing forth the next generation of digital innovators and entrepreneurs, and that women are highly needed in the technology sector to build a strong digital Europe.”