London, UK-based startup Mindstone has raised £1.45m via a crowdfunding campaign for its edtech platform that offers bespoke courses on topics ranging from the basics of bitcoin to women’s health.
The funding, shared exclusively with UKTN, comes less than two years after Mindstone’s launch. It brings its total funds raised to more than £3m, following a £1.6m raise in February this year.
The startup’s edtech platform curates online content including articles, podcasts and video. Learners can then build a course based on their goals and preferences.
Mindstone said it will use the funds to increase its mobile offering, R&D, new hires and building commercial partnerships.
Organisations that use the platform to create courses include The Bitcoin Association, LandscapeVC and The Body Collective. It has also signed a commercial partnership with publisher Harvard Business Review.
Mindstone CEO Joshua Wohle founded the company after his previous venture, a child online safety company called SuperAwesome, was acquired by Fortnite maker Epic Games.
“Online education is broken,” Wohle said. “Providers and courses too often simply replicate traditional in-person teaching methods in an online environment, and are typically bound to static, one-size-fits-all curricula.
“We are rethinking online education from the ground up to solve this problem. The internet is the greatest knowledge bank in human history, and our platform makes it as easy for anyone to build a course from existing high-quality online material as it is to curate a playlist on Spotify.”
The company said it uses a “compound learning approach” in which the content changes depending on the feedback given by the user.
Investors in the Mindstone funding round include Moonfire Ventures founder Mattias Ljungman, who has previously backed companies that went on to become unicorns – private companies valued at $1bn or more – including Klarna and Viagogo.
Other investors include impact investment fund Mustard Seed Maze, Techstars managing director Eamonn Carey, US VC Scout Fund, Zanichelli Venture and Andrew Gault, founding partner of 7percent Ventures.
Mindstone said he funding round is the largest edtech crowdfund on Seedrs, an online seed and angel investment crowdfunding platform.
The former COO of Udemy, an edtech competitor, has also joined Mindstone as an advisor.
“I am always on the hunt for the next category-creating disruptor, and when Joshua first described Mindstone to me, I knew I had to invest,” said Mattias Ljungman, founder and managing partner, Moonfire. “He and the team at Mindstone have put the science of learning at the core of everything they do – creating a new way to approach education that is truly tailored to the individual learner.”