EdTech Startup Labster Nabs $10M Series A Round For Their Virtual Laboratory Platform
When we met up with Labster at BbWorld 17 in July mum was the word on investment. They had said they were enjoying continued steady growth of their virtual laboratory platform. The value proposition for Labster is one of the best in the higher ed market, subsidize the enormous costs associated with building out big laboratories for students by moving them to a virtual world. A world where the hazards and costs of breaking equipment, or using the wrong tools or chemicals is removed.
Using Labster’s virtual laboratory platform in the classroom also allows instructors to focus more on instruction. Through the Labster platform, instructors can monitor the progress of 40, 60 even 150 students at a time and quickly intervene to help the students out. In a traditional wet lab it’s hard to see exactly where each student is, and even harder to work your way through a large room to help another student.
The company launched in 2011 and unveiled it’s first virtual laboratory software in 2013. During that time mum was the word as the company built out it’s platform in stealth mode. Today they offer over 65 simulations in life science and chemistry related topics. That list is growing. The company has also launched a tool that allows instructors and even students to build virtual labs on top of the Labster platform that explore other areas of science as well.
Labster is accessed via a laptop or tablet and without the need for VR glasses, although TechCrunch reports that’s something the company is looking into. The simulations take into consideration everything involved in an actual lab experiment or research. They even warn students when supplies are out of place or in hazardous areas.
TechCrunch reported yesterday that Labster had just closed a $10M series A round led by early European VC firm Balderton Capital. Stockholm based Northzone, and Unity Technologies founder David Helgason also participated.
Until now the company had used grants and other non-equity financing to get where they are today. Some of that funding was provided as they collaborated with colleges and universities in Europe and Denmark.
“We ended up concluding that VC funding was the right thing for us to do at this stage because we had scaled our product and now really need to fuel sales, marketing and getting our product across globally — so that fueled the decision there,” Mads Bonde, the founder and CEO of Labster, told techcrunch.com
Labster has about 150 institutions across the globe using it’s platform today. That includes primarily schools in the US and the UK, but schools in Hong Kong, Singapore and South America have also started using it.
You can check out Labster here.