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London edtech start-up crowdfunds $500k

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Edtech start-up Tech Will Save Us, which provides hybrid online and offline learning experiences for kids, has reached $500m on crowdfunding platform Seedrs – over double its initial target. The venture-backed business, which has so far helped 1.2m kids build and create with technology, has attracted over 200 investors with commitments of up to $145k from individual customers.

Tech Will Save Us’ play-led home learning system is designed to encourage creativity while sparking an interest in science, technology, engineering, art and maths (STEAM). It includes a digital platform (featuring hours of video content, interactive manuals, projects and coding challenges) and physical product experiences ranging from its Electro Dough Kit to its more advanced games design & coding system Arcade Coder (all of which integrate with its digital platform). It also recently launched a subscriptions service to support lifetime learning and value.

Tech Will Save Us made the decision to focus on digital sales last year which positioned them well for the Covid19 pandemic and it has seen sales across digital channels rise 110% post lockdown. As well as investing in its online store, the company has built a loyal digital community of hundreds of thousands of followers by publishing playful content as well as useful tools and resources – such as its free-ebook Supercharge Learning & Playing at Home.

“Education has forever been changed by the lockdown with digital technologies being used in schools across the globe. Parents have never been closer to their kids’ education and the gaps in what they are learning,” comments Bethany Koby, Cofounder and CEO at Tech Will Save Us. “We are humbled by the response to our Seedrs campaign and we will now accelerate our plans for home learning clubs and subscriptions to keep kids engaged, entertained and inspired.”

Last week it also launched Games Designer Club, a free-to-join online hub of projects, activities and resources themed around inventing and building games. Designed to compliment other home-schooling activities, Games Designer Club teaches key skills around design and coding as well as creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking and collaboration.

Tech Will Save Us was founded in 2012 by husband and wife team Bethany Koby and Daniel Hirschmann. They started packing make-it-yourself kits on their kitchen table and now have customers across 97 countries. The company is backed by edtech focused BrightEye Ventures as well as Initial Capital, an early backer of Supercell.

“As parents we felt this tension between the stigma of screen time and the need to help our kids develop the skills they need for the future. So we made it our mission to empower children to become digital creators and not just consumers. We’ve worked tirelessly to build fun and engaging products that kids will keep using,” continues Bethany Koby.

As well as picking up various design and education awards, Tech Will Save Us collaborated with Google, Code Club, The Prince’s Trust and the BBC to create the micro:bit — a pocket sized computer that was given to one million kids worldwide. It also partnered with Disney to produce an exclusive STEAM toy for Marvel’s The Avengers.




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