Labster, the virtual labs and interactive science platform has today announced a successful investment tranche of $47M to support its growth ambitions. This latest equity offering takes the net funds raised by the company to $147M.
The fresh financing was sourced from new investors Sofina Group and Pirate Impact, along with new infusions from existing investors Owl Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, EduCapital, NPF Technologies, and GGV Capital.
“Our confidence in the vision and team at Labster couldn’t be greater,” remarked Tory Patterson, managing director, Owl Ventures. “We have extremely high conviction in the future of digital learning and Labster is unlocking the most profound learning outcomes in the sector.”
What will the funding will be used for?
The new capital infusion will enable Labster to further its development in Europe and the US as well as to establish itself within Asia and Latin America. On top of expanding into new geographic regions, Labster is also hiring across all major teams including engineering, product, sales, and customer success.
This next stage of expansion will provide educators and students with virtual lab simulations for remote, hybrid and in-person learning modalities, everywhere.
Labster is investing more funds into its library of science simulations and expanding its reach to younger students and the adult workforce training for skills. By doing this, Labster hopes to serve 100M students globally through its institutional and government partnerships.
Making STEM learning more engaging
Labster has been working to help make the learning of STEM (Sciences, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) subjects more engaging and interactive. The current means of education haven’t been impactful enough and are increasingly failing to meet the demands of students.
Science education has been traditionally so ineffective that 60% of STEM students drop out. By working to offer high value and engagement oriented learning, the outcomes for these students can be drastically improved.
“We are tackling a global learning crisis where current access to engaging and impactful education is not meeting demands or servicing students well enough,” said Mads Tvillinggaard Bonde, Labster co-founder and Executive Chairman.
Students are benefitting from learning science in Labster’s virtual world. The platform combines advanced techniques from game development with learning psychology and the virtualization of labs to deliver an interactive learning experience.
Labster engages students with game-based elements that inspire them to explore science. Students then apply their knowledge to solve a real-world problem within a story’s context. Inside an immersive simulation’s 3D environment, students master curriculum-aligned theory, interact with advanced equipment, perform experiments and learn new techniques in a metaverse-inspired way.
Labster is also making educators’ jobs easier. The platform is integrated with the most popular LMS (learning management system) platforms and frees up their time by automatically grading quizzes and providing them with a dashboard of students’ performance data.
To ensure every student’s access to high-quality science education, Labster supports and engages all learners by offering popular simulations in multiple languages, featuring diverse on-screen characters, as well as accommodating hearing and visual impairments.
Labster, a firm with Nordic roots
Founded by Mads Tvillinggaard Bonde and Michael Bodekaer in 2011, the company has its headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark. Mads was a PhD student in charge of the Biotech lab at the University of Copenhagen, whereas Michael was also teaching while pursuing a PhD in Learning Sciences.
Mads observed that students were having difficulty staying engaged and arriving prepared for lab work, and together with Michael understood what needed to be changed to teach science effectively. They embarked on a journey to transform the way science is taught.
Today, Labster’s team of 350-plus employees is supporting over 3,000 universities and high schools. The platform offers tens of thousands of courses to millions of students every year throughout 70-plus countries.
Labster’s virtual science labs have been used by California State University, Stanford, Harvard, MIT, Gwinnett Technical College, Exeter University, University of New Haven, University of New England, Trinity College, University of Hong Kong and Berkeley, among others internationally.
The company was named by Global Silicon Valley’s (GSV) EdTech 150 as one of the most transformative private companies in education.