The digitisation of the global economy driven by The Fourth Industrial Revolution has been dramatically accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital transformation has witnessed a significant increase over the last two years.
Unlocking its potential, London-based online education company FourthRev has raised $8 million in Series A to address the digital skill gaps. The round was led by Educapital, Europe’s first education technology impact fund, with follow-on funding from Reach Capital, Emerge Education, and Danner Capital as well as a number of edtech entrepreneurs and executives.
Founded by Jack Hylands and Omar de Silva in 2019, the platform aims to bridge the gap between universities and businesses to address the gap in digital skills. Building on previous university partnerships and success in delivering digital skills courses, the startup has created a new category of education called Career Accelerators to tackle digital skills gaps globally. These programmes lead the way in employer-university collaboration by combining the robustness and recognition of world-leading university education with the best job-focused technical education.
It brings together globally recognised universities, such as the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and now King’s College London, leading technology companies such as Tableau and Github, and industry employers such as Thoughtworks and Robert Walters to design unique, highly cost-effective, globally relevant programmes.
The investment will enable the startup to develop more Career Accelerators focused on key areas experiencing the most acute digital skills shortages such as cybersecurity, AI, analytics, UI, and project management skills. It will also double headcount worldwide, expanding operations in the U.K., Australia, South Africa, and North America.
The first FourthRev career accelerator in data analytics is currently underway to train students to develop holistic data analysis skills. It has been designed and developed by LSE’s Departments of Statistics and Department of Methodology, in collaboration with leading industry partners to ensure outcomes align with current industry demand.
Jack Hylands, Co-Founder of FourthRev said: “The 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. Our mission is to support the workforce and learners through these changes, which is why we built and launched Career Accelerators last year.”
Litzie Maarek, Co-Founder and Managing Partner from Educapital said: “Our mission at Educapital is to identify and support edtech 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.”