COPENHAGEN & BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Labster (www.labster.com), the world's leading platform for virtual labs and interactive science, has raised $47 million in additional funding to support massive growth opportunities worldwide. This new capital infusion will enable Labster to further develop in Europe and the United States and to establish itself within Asia and Latin America. By investing more funds into its library of science simulations and expanding its reach to younger students and adult workforce skills training, Labster will be able to serve 100 million students around the world through its institutional and government partnerships.
Total investment in Labster now stands at $147 million. This new financing tranche is sourced from new investors: Sofina Group and Pirate Impact, along with fresh infusions from existing investors: Owl Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, EduCapital, NPF Technologies, and GGV Capital. They are joining the Series C round announced in 2021 led by Andreessen Horowitz. Additional investors included Balderton Capital, Northzone, Swisscom Ventures, and David Helgason, founder of Unity Technologies.
"As a contributor to sustainable development, Sofina is proud to support Labster's vision of empowering millions of students with an engaging STEM learning experience," said Bertrand Fawe, investment manager at Sofina Group. "The use of immersive virtual reality technology will continue to play a growing role in the delivery of education."
“Labster's mission is to provide all students, regardless of socioeconomic status or geographic location, with equitable access to high-quality engaging science education and virtual laboratories — an ongoing critical need accelerated by the pandemic and now rapidly growing globally as digitalization of the education sector with hybrid and remote learning continues,” said Michael Bodekaer Jensen, co-founder and CEO of Labster. “This additional funding will help us to continue growing our support for a broader group of students, teachers, and educational institutions around the world to make our mission a reality. There has been a fundamental change in the nature of education over the last two years that confirms the high value and impact on student engagement and learning outcomes of virtual educational simulations offered in tandem with in-person, teacher-led coursework in a post-pandemic world.”
A shared commitment to education
Named by Global Silicon Valley’s (GSV) EdTech 150 as one of the most transformative private companies in education, Labster's team of 350-plus employees supports over 3,000 universities and high schools, tens of thousands of courses, and millions of students every year. Throughout 70-plus countries, Labster is delivered on a state-of-the-art digital platform that provides seamless access, implementation, and integration with other systems for users.
“Students around the world benefit from learning science in Labster’s virtual world, combining advanced techniques from game development with learning psychology and virtualization of labs,” said Scott Kupor, managing partner, Andreessen Horowitz. “This allows millions of students to access high-quality education that was previously unreachable. We are thrilled to continue to partner with Labster.”
"Our confidence in the vision and team at Labster couldn't be greater," said 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. Every student in every school should be leveraging Labster’s platform to accelerate science learning. We are ecstatic to further our support of Labster.”
The new funding will contribute to Labster’s ambitious roadmap for expansion. In addition to expanding into new geographic regions, Labster is now 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 hybrid, remote, and in-person learning modalities worldwide.
“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. “Science education is traditionally so ineffective that 60% of STEM students drop out. Labster is the only offering in the market that provides a highly interactive life-like laboratory experience that is documented to reduce failure rates and improve outcomes for students. We are proud to produce high-quality, affordable science education that helps teachers and students to empower the next generation of scientists.”
Labster is dedicated to developing fully interactive virtual training simulations that are designed to enhance traditional learning outcomes by stimulating students’ natural curiosity and reinforcing the connection between science and the real world. The simulations can be used in a variety of different ways, from a full lab replacement to a supplemental learning activity. Over 5 million students in high schools and universities have used Labster to perform realistic experiments, learn key science concepts, and practice their skills in a risk-free learning environment. Labster’s 350-plus team members from over 30 countries are passionate about improving science learning, resulting in collaborations with over 3,000 leading educational institutions. Visit www.labster.com.
About Sofina Group
Sofina is a family controlled and run investment company listed on Euronext Brussels, managing its assets of circa €11 billion. Sofina aspires to be the preferred partner of entrepreneurs and families who lead companies embarked on a sustainable growth journey by backing them with patient capital and supportive advice. Common vision and strong alignment of values and interests with its partners are paramount in the deployment of its strategy. Sofina’s investments focus on a sustainable growth theme in four focus sectors: digital transformation, consumer and retail, education, and healthcare. For more information, visit www.sofinagroup.com.
About Andreessen Horowitz
Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) is a venture capital firm that backs bold entrepreneurs building the future through technology. The firm is stage agnostic, investing in seed to growth-stage technology companies, across the consumer, enterprise, bio+health, crypto, and fintech spaces. a16z has over $28.2 billion in assets under management across multiple funds. See portfolio companies here: https://a16z.com/portfolio/.
About Owl Ventures
Owl Ventures is the largest venture capital fund in the world focused on the education technology market with over $2.25 billion in assets under management. The Silicon Valley-based firm invests in the world's leading education technology companies across the education spectrum encompassing PreK-12, higher education, and the future of work (career mobility/professional learning). Owl Ventures has deep domain expertise and leverages a global network of Limited Partners, investors, and strategic partners to help entrepreneurs scale their businesses into transformative category-leading companies. Learn more at www.OwlVC.com.