British AI edtech scaleup named Tech Pioneer by Davos and raises $6.5m
London-based AI edtech company CENTURY Tech has been named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum for its efforts to use AI to transform learning in schools across the world.
The WEF’s Technology Pioneers are 100 early to growth-stage companies from around the world that are using innovation to solve pressing issues in society and business. Previous cohorts have included Google, Twitter, Spotify and Palantir. As Pioneers, CENTURY’s Founder CEO Priya Lakhani OBE will join WEF events and initiatives and work with global leaders to address key issues in education.
In the same week, the company also raised $6.5m to scale its AI-powered learning technologies to more schools across the world following an acceleration in the adoption of technology in education, taking its total investment to $22m.
The raise will see CENTURY scale its AI-powered learning technologies to more schools across the world following an acceleration in the adoption of technology in education. The company will also ramp up its efforts to expand its backend AI technologies to publishers and other content owners globally.
The round was oversubscribed, with two-thirds of the total taken up by new investors, including MIT Solve’s philanthropic venture fund Solve Innovation Future. This raise will ensure CENTURY builds further on its 100% year-on-year growth since launching in 2017, while further expanding its recently-launched personalisation via API integration solution, used by BPP University and global publishing companies.
Founded by barrister-turned-entrepreneur Priya Lakhani OBE in 2015, CENTURY uses artificial intelligence, neuroscience and learning science to personalise learning. Its platform learns how each student learns, providing each learner with a personalised pathway to mastery while equipping educators with detailed data insights and saving them hours of time in marking and planning. Its technology incorporates pedagogy and curriculum content and is used by leading schools such as Eton and Dulwich College, as well as large groups of international schools like Cognita Schools and the The City School group.
Demand for cutting-edge education technology has soared as a result of the pandemic sending much of education online, with usage of CENTURY’s platform increasing by more than 400% in the last year. This increased usage of the platform has persisted following the return to normality in most schools, suggesting that the increased use of technology in education is a more permanent shift.
Priya Lakhani OBE, Founder CEO of CENTURY Tech, said:
“The pandemic accelerated the pace of innovation in education – fast-forwarding the use of technology in learning by years in just the space of a few months.
“While schools are rightfully leaving full-time remote learning behind, we are seeing that teachers have realised the benefits that advanced technology can offer. Advanced technologies like AI are here to stay – in the classroom, for homework, to aid with marking and planning, and generally to make the processes of teaching and learning far more effective.
“We are looking forward to being able to help more schools than ever before to realise the power of AI to transform education for the better.”
Susan Nesbitt, Head of the Global Innovators Community at the World Economic Forum, said:
“We’re excited to welcome CENTURY Tech to our 2021 cohort of Technology Pioneers.
“CENTURY Tech and its fellow pioneers are developing technologies that can help society solve some of its most pressing issues. We look forward to their contribution to the World Economic Forum in its commitment to improving the state of the world.”
Casey van der Stricht, Principal of Solve Innovation Future, MIT Solve’s philanthropic venture fund, said:
“CENTURY Tech is working to ensure that anyone, anywhere, at any level realizes their ultimate learning potential.”
“Priya and her team are rightfully focused on scalability of the AI learning platform model, especially given the increased demand for virtual learning technology—and at Solve, we are equally excited about how this tool can customize learning to support all students.”
About CENTURY Tech: CENTURY Tech is an award-winning AI education technology company, whose team of teachers, neuroscientists and technologists develop world-leading artificial intelligence tools for schools, colleges and universities, as well as learning and development environments. Founded by entrepreneur Priya Lakhani OBE in 2013, CENTURY’s mission is to help educators across the world to remove learning roadblocks so that every student can succeed.
About World Economic Forum: The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. (www.weforum.org).
About the Technology Pioneers: The World Economic Forum believes that innovation is critical to the future well-being of society and to driving economic growth. Launched in 2000, the Technology Pioneer community is composed of early to growth-stage companies from around the world that are involved in the design, development and deployment of new technologies and innovations, and are poised to have a significant impact on business and society.