Aula raises $4.2 million for its student communications platform

Edtech startup Aula has secured $4.2 million in seed funding from Project A, Brighteye Ventures, Sunstone, and Nordic Makers.

The startup is building a communication tool for university students – or a “digital campus” – with the Aula platform.

According to the founders, Anders Krohn, Adrian Franklin, and Oliver Nicolini (all formerly of Oxford), the platform was built in response to existing learning management systems, like Blackboard and Canvas, used in universities, which CEO Krohn (pictured) describes as “clunky” and “end up serving mainly as digital filing cabinets for PDFs and lecture slides.”

“As universities strive towards a greater emphasis on student engagement and participation, digital learning infrastructure is often one of the main stumbling blocks,” he said.

Aula takes its cues from Slack and WhatsApp, creating a single platform for student interaction.

It has been trialled with 230 classes in 30 institutions, including MIT and Imperial College London.

“Higher education has traditionally lagged behind when it comes to implementing new technologies and it continues to be a heavily underserved market,” said Alex Spiro, managing partner at Brighteye Ventures, who is joining the company’s board. “Aula’s success demonstrates that universities are recognising the need to invest in their digital infrastructure in order to provide the best possible experience for students.”

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