Digital education start-up FourthRev fast-tracks seed funding of £2.3m to drive global expansion
London, – 9 February 2021: Specialist digital education start-up FourthRev has closed its seed fundraising round at £2.3m as the London based company continues its global expansion. FourthRev, which was founded in 2019, brings together leading universities, the world’s best technology companies and employers to deliver learning experiences with direct pathways to qualifications and jobs in the digital economy to address the $11 trillion global digital skills gap.
The fundraising round was led by Reach Capital, a US-based education specialist VC whose portfolio includes educational trailblazers Handshake, Class Dojo and Outschool. Existing investors Emerge Education returned for the seed round, alongside Dunce Capital. Alongside top VC firms, FourthRev has secured backing from a number of notable Angel investors including US education executive Craig Pines and Charlie Songhurst, former Head of Corporate Strategy at Microsoft.
An explosion in demand for online learning during 2020 and the participation of education heavyweight Reach Capital means FourthRev brought forward its seed round funding. The funds raised will primarily be used to develop FourthRev’s world-class online learning platform and to double the size of the global team, which is currently 35-strong, across the UK, Australia and the US. FourthRev’s pre-seed fundraising round closed at £450,000 in February 2020 by the company founders Jack Hylands and Omar de Silva.
Jack Hylands, Co-Founder of FourthRev commented
“Having the backing of Emerge Education and Reach Capital who are behind some of the leading innovators in our industry, confirms our approach and ambitions for growing digital skills globally. It’s our hope that with this the investment, we will be able to build on our unique global partnerships and our world-class online learning experiences, to unlock the opportunities which a digital economy offers society and address this growing problem of our time.”
Shauntel Garvey, General Partner at Reach Capital, said,
“We believe work-integrated learning solutions like FourthRev will continue to gain traction as learners seek experiences that combine academic learning with in-demand skills. We look forward to partnering with Hylands and de Silva, whose global networks and experience across education and technology make them uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between higher education and industry.”
Jan Lynn-Matern, founder and partner of Emerge Education, added,
“We strongly believe that the widening gap between higher education and industry cannot be solved unless we rapidly scale the breadth and depth of employer-university collaboration. FourthRev is creating a new education category at the intersection of these two stakeholder groups that has the potential to achieve this. We’re very excited to be doubling down on our investment and supporting the management team to the next step.”
In less than two years, de Silva and Hylands have formed partnerships with many of the world’s biggest tech companies, including AWS, GitHub and Tableau, and top universities to create learning experiences that offer a direct pathway to qualifications and employment in the digital economy. FourthRev courses are currently available via 11 higher educational providers worldwide, including University of Coventry and FutureLearn, RMIT, University of Canberra and University of California, Irvine. The start-up is in conversation with a further 20 organisations, with plans to double the number of higher education partners in the next 12-18 months.
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FourthRev brings together leading universities, the world’s best technology companies and employer partners to deliver learning experiences with direct pathways to qualifications and jobs in the digital economy. Beginning in Melbourne in May 2019, they have since built courses with multiple global tech giants, including AWS, Salesforce and Tableau, delivered through university partnerships in Australia, the UK and the US.
FourthRev enables university partners to quickly release new offerings targeting the lifelong-learner market or uplift degree programs to drive graduate employability. They are driven by the belief that employer-university collaboration is central to supporting learners achieve meaningful careers in the digital economy and for society to address the global $11 trillion digital capability gap.
About Emerge Education
Emerge is a European seed fund that partners with founders who are bridging the gap between talent and opportunity. We invest at the earliest stages and provide founders with access to a global community of education leaders that have built some of the fastest growing education providers in the world.
About Reach Capital
Reach Capital supports the most promising entrepreneurs developing technology solutions for challenges in early childhood, K-12, higher education and workforce development. Reach is the leading early-stage edtech fund investing in tech tools, applications, content, and services that empower learners, parents and educators across the education spectrum.