Edtech start-up Esme Learning Solutions raises $7.5m

26 Jan 2021

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The start-up will use the Series A funding to support growth across all facets of its operations, from headcount to course offerings.

Digital learning platform Esme Learning Solutions has closed a $7.5m Series A funding round, led by Adit Ventures.

The edtech company was founded in 2019 by Beth Porter, formerly of edX and Pearson Education, and David Shrier, who has worked at University of Oxford, MIT and Imperial College Business School.

As digital transformation continues to accelerate, the need to for professionals to upskill will become critical. Esme Learning Solutions uses an AI-enabled digital learning system and leverages dozens of lessons from cognitive and neuroscience to deliver online course offerings.

‘There’s a sense of urgency to improve the effectiveness of online learning’

The start-up focuses on courses that will prepare individuals for jobs of the future, emphasising emerging technologies. It has partnered with the University of Oxford and currently offers six-week online courses in fintech and cybersecurity for business leaders.

Esme Learning said it will use the new funds to support growth across its operations, including its headcount and its course offerings.

The funding will also be used to further develop the company’s course methodology and core artificial intelligence technology, which includes developing tools underpinned by AI to reinvent remote learning.

Co-founder and managing director Shrier said digital learning is growing at a rapid rate and the pandemic has accelerated that even further. “Now, there’s a sense of urgency to improve the effectiveness of online learning. With specialised AI, online learning can be highly customised and personalised,” he said.

Michael Block, managing director at Adit Ventures and Esme Learning Solutions board member, said the start-up has “a clear pathway for success” with its AI-enabled platform.

“Esme Learning’s rapidly growing portfolio of courses with the leading universities of the world creates a compelling investment opportunity for us, expanding on our thesis that AI brings real transformation to the future of digital learning,” he said.

In conjunction with the funding round, former vice-provost of the University of Pennsylvania, Lynn Hollen Lees, and former president of Bad Boy Entertainment, Jon Cropper, will be joining the Esme Learning Solutions advisory board.

Jenny Darmody is the editor of Silicon Republic