London EdTech FourthRev has closed a Series A round of £6 million to expand its digital skills programmes with universities and industry.
The online education company has been backed by lead investor 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.
FourthRev has created a new category of education called ‘career accelerators’ to tackle digital skills gaps globally. These programmes promoting employer-university collaboration combine university education with job-focused technical education.
It does this by bringing together the likes of the London School of Economics and Political Science and King’s College London with companies such as Tableau, Github, Thoughtworks and Robert Walters to design unique, globally relevant programmes.
The first FourthRev career accelerator, in data analytics, is currently underway. A six-month programme that will train students from a range of different backgrounds and disciplines to develop holistic data analysis skills, it has been designed and developed by LSE’s departments of statistics and methodology.
The programme will introduce core concepts of data-handling and analysis and will incorporate real-world projects to allow students to apply and challenge their knowledge in authentic business scenarios.
The investment will be used to develop and promote career accelerators focused on key areas experiencing the most acute digital skills shortages such as cybersecurity, AI, analytics, UI and project management skills.
FourthRev will be doubling headcount worldwide, expanding operations in the UK, Australia, South Africa and North America.
“The digitisation of the global economy driven by the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ has been dramatically accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, with digital transformation plans having been significantly increased over the last two years,” said co-founder Jack Hylands (pictured).
“This 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.
“If the workforce is to succeed in this new economy, it will require a specific and different set of technological, emotional, and higher cognitive skills. Our mission is to support the workforce and learners through these changes, which is why we built and launched career accelerators last year.
“By combining the very best of career focused, high ROI education with the value of the world’s best universities, technology partners and a direct pathway to employment, this unique proposition allows learners from across the globe to unlock high-growth digital careers.”