London-based online education company FourthRev has raised $8 million in a Series A round led by ed tech impact fund Educapital, with follow-on funding from Reach Capital, Emerge Education, Danner Capital and Craig Pines, who is joining the FourthRev board.

New investors include Dan Devine, Greg Finkelstein, Jeff Keith and Scott Mckinley.

FourthRev stated it has created a new category of education called Career Accelerators to tackle digital skills gaps globally, combining university education with job-focused technical education. The company said it brings together universities, such as the London School of Economics and King’s College London, with technology companies such as Tableau and Github and industry employers such as Thoughtworks and Robert Walters, to design programmes.

The investment will be used to develop and promote more Career Accelerators focused on key areas experiencing the most acute digital skills shortages such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, analytics, user interface and project management skills. It will also double headcount worldwide, expanding operations in the UK, Australia, South Africa and North America.

Jack Hylands, co-founder of FourthRev said: “The digitisation of the global economy driven by the Fourth Industrial Revolution has been dramatically accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, with digital transformation plans having been significantly increased over the last two years. This rapid digitisation of the economy means that 85 million jobs are forecast to be lost through the emergence of new AI and automation technologies, but 97 million jobs are set to be created.

“If the workforce is to succeed in this new economy, it will require a specific and different set of technological, emotional, and higher cognitive skills. Our mission is to support the workforce and learners through these changes, which is why we built and launched Career Accelerators last year. By combining the very best of career-focused, high ROI education with the value of the world’s best universities, technology partners and a direct pathway to employment, this unique proposition allows learners from across the globe to unlock high-growth digital careers.”

Litzie Maarek, co-founder and managing partner from Educapital said: “It is clear that there is a desperate need for more effective and relevant education in the digital skill education space. We believe the way FourthRev builds the foundation of its courses on industry needs, works with academia to deliver higher order thinking and intellectual resilience, and delivers confidence to graduates through industry partnerships is unique. Our mission at Educapital is to identify and support ed tech companies that are going to have a tangible impact for current and future generations. FourthRev is doing just that as they are building a new educational pathway to addressing one of the biggest educational challenges of our time.”

Shauntel Garvey, co-founder and general partner at Reach Capital added: “The strong demand for FourthRev’s first Career Accelerator and a growing pipeline of academic and industry partners shows that now, more than ever, learners are seeking experiences that combine practical technical skills with the rigour of renowned universities. Furthermore, by incorporating the development of human skills into the curriculum, FourthRev will better equip its graduates to thrive in the digital economy. Human connections are crucial to all successful learning experiences – and core to our impact thesis at Reach.”

Date published: 27 January 2022

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