Award-winning virtual science labs provider Labster has raised $60 million in a Series C funding round led by new investor Andreessen Horowitz, the company has announced recently.
The round was joined by existing investors GGV Capital, Owl Ventures, Balderton Capital, Northzone, Swisscom Ventures, EduCapital, and David Helgason, founder of Unity Technologies. The latest funding brings Labster’s total capital raised to $100 million.
Labster develops fully interactive advanced lab simulations based on mathematical algorithms that support open-ended investigations. It combines them with gamification elements such as an immersive 3D universe, storytelling and a scoring system which stimulates students’ natural curiosity and highlights the connection between science and the real world. Labster works in collaboration with over 2,000 educational institutions around the world and its labs are being used by California State University, Harvard, MIT, Yale, Stanford, University of Cambridge, Imperial College, Exeter University, University of New England, Trinity College, University of Hong Kong, and Berkeley among others.
Commenting on how the funding will help the company, Michael Bodekaer Jensen, Co-founder and CEO of Labster, said,
"One of the biggest questions we asked ourselves throughout 2020 was how we could help improve learning outcomes and dramatically increase the motivation of the many students forced to learn from home. This round of funding will allow us to accelerate our global expansion and development of new science courses so we can help millions more students."
According to a statement, the funding will enable Labster to focus on growing the size of its global team to serve students around the world. It said the company will establish operations in South America in the next stage of its plan to serve educators and students around the world with virtual lab simulations for hybrid, remote, and in-person learning modalities. Labster currently has its presence in over 70 countries.
Speaking about the company, Mads Bonde, Co-founder and Chairman of Labster, said,
“Labster’s game-based platform makes learning addictive. Our approach stimulates students’ natural curiosity and attains much higher learning outcomes. In the future, we will see new scientists, healthcare professionals, and science-literate adults who were first trained in a Labster simulation.”
Labster aims to radically improve science education. It focuses on supporting instructors as they empower their students to become the next generation of scientists to change the world. The company’s simulations have proven to be a complementary learning tool for in-person university and high school education and have also been an essential resource to many hybrid and online courses.
Expressing his excitement to support the company, Scott Kupor, Managing Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, said,
“Labster recognizes that if you combine the best aspects of in-person instruction and a game-based platform, it’s a transformative learning experience for students. We are excited to support the Labster team, especially now, when teachers and students are especially in need of its engaging virtual labs.”
Learned from the COVID-19 crisis, Labster said it is growing its core offerings to meet the needs of educators and students who are determined to continue learning without interruption or the many other barriers to education. The company said it is exploring additional ways to extend their platform to students of all backgrounds, including those who may not have laptops or internet service.