Luxembourg-based Brighteye Ventures, which claims to be Europe’s first and largest edtech VC, has announced the $54 million first close of its second fund, bringing assets under management to above $112 million. The first close comes from a mix of existing and new investors, primarily international family offices, and a second close to include institutional investors is expected in 2021. With schools closed and in-person learning interrupted due to the pandemic, the opportunity for edtech to grow — and the pressure for it to perform — is great. The market has changed since the VC announced its first fund three years ago. Managing Partner Alex Spiro Latsis commented that while the firm has always “advocated for greater adoption of tech-enabled learning solutions, we scarcely imagined the size of the move that closing 90 percent of global schools would provoke in Europe, the US and beyond.” The new fund will go to 15-20 companies over the next three years at the seed and Series-A stages, with cheques up to $5 million. To make it all happen, Brighteye says the team will grow quickly, expanding from three members to ten within the next year. David Guerin has been promoted to Principal to manage deal making and portfolio support in Paris, and the firm expects to set up some kind of presence in the DACH region by summer 2022.
As for its current portfolio, Brighteye Ventures was an early investor in Ornikar, an online driving school serving over 1.6 million students in France, which just expanded to Spain; Tandem, the Berlin-based peer-to-peer language learning platform which recently raised a £4.5 million Series A round; Zen Educate, a supply teacher platform in the UK; and Epic!, a reading platform reportedly used in over 90 percent of US schools.
Photo: Brighteye Partners Alex Latsis and Benoit Wirz