These are the 24 hottest edtech startups in Europe, according to the VCs backing them through COVID-19

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The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a surge of investment in education startups, as millions of students young and old around the world are forced to learn from home under lockdown. 

Even before the virus forced much of the world to shift to remote learning, global investment in the sector hit a staggering $18 billion. Now even more cash is being thrown at “edtech” startups, as demonstrated by SoftBank’s $200 million bet on Scandinavian firm Kahoot. 

Business Insider asked some of the best known venture capitalists from across Europe to each name two outstanding edtech firms – one in their portfolio and one outside – on the content. 

CoachHub Coachhub cofounders Yannis and Matti Niebelschütz



Cited by: Mathias Ockenfels, partner at Speedinvest

In the Speedinvest portfolio? Yes

Total raised: $20 million

What it does: “CoachHub offers employees personalized coaching sessions to support them in their professional development, and to help them thrive in their current organization. In addition, CoachHub also offers an app that allows employees to engage in additional learning and development at their own pace.”

Why it’s hot in 2020: “Prior to COVID-19, CoachHub was already a great offering, but now employees are finding CoachHub to be an especially great tool to navigate their development amid the current situation.”

Skiller Whale Dave Millican Skiller Whale cofounder and CTO Dave Millican



Cited by: Mathias Ockenfels, partner at Speedinvest

In the Speedinvest portfolio? No

Total raised: $1 million

What it does: “Skiller Whale provides a live learning platform for tech teams that offers targeted lessons directly to employees, and we’ve been really excited by their work from afar.

“Their learning plans are personalized for individual team members, based on detailed skill assessments of their learning needs, and the lessons themselves make use of experts in the relevant languages and topics alongside challenging exercises.”

Why it’s hot in 2020: “We think this engaging and meaningful model of digital training is just what teams need, especially in our current world of remote work.”

Blackbullion Blackbullion founder Vivi Friedgut Blackbullion founder Vivi Friedgut



Cited by: Lord Stanley Fink, angel investor and ex-CEO of hedge fund Man Group

In Lord Fink’s portfolio? Yes

Total raised: $1.5 million

What it does: Blackbullion is an online financial education platform, working to provide prospective and current university students with the knowledge they need to make better-informed choices with their money.

Why it’s hot in 2020: “Edtech adoption has accelerated at full tilt since COVID-19 and I’ve been blown away with how founder Vivi Friedgut and her team have created products that add essential capacity, support and simply make life less stressful for students, getting them that step closer to financial wellbeing. I’d back her every time.”

Perlego Perlego CEO Gauthier Van Malderen Perlego CEO Gauthier Van Malderen



Cited by: Lord Stanley Fink, angel investor and ex-CEO of hedge fund Man Group

In Lord Fink’s portfolio? No

Total raised: $15 million

What it does: Perlego is a digital online library – dubbed the “Spotify of textbooks” – focused on academic, professional and non-fiction ebooks.

Why it’s hot in 2020: “Outside my portfolio, Perlego is a standout one for me. Again, on a mission to democratize not just expensive academic books but education. They are a really impressive young team with a great track record of securing investment … I’ve also been impressed by their approach to strategic partnerships and their ability to solve real pain points for students and publishers.”

99math 99math The 99math team



Cited by: Tom Williams, Partner at Talis Capital 

In the Talis Capital portfolio? No

Total raised: $16 million

What it does: “Estonia’s 99math is playing in the ‘edutainment’ space, aiming to create the biggest esports league in the world through primary school students answering math questions. With 100k users gained already, 99math has demonstrated that gamifying school subjects is effective in encouraging students to learn, so we’re excited to see what they do next.”

Why it’s hot in 2020: “As the traditional school system to date relies on offline teaching methods, we want to see companies that are capitalizing on the switch to mobile … 99math is one we’ll be watching outside of our portfolio tapping into this trend.”

Learning People Learning People online academy



Cited by: Tom Williams, partner at Talis Capital

In the Talis Capital portfolio? Yes

Total raised: $2.5 million

What it does: “Learning People is a global online learning platform that provides online technology courses to students: Both from those just entering the labour force and upskilling workers who have already started their careers.”

Why it’s hot in 2020: “There’s a huge unsatisfied demand for tech roles due to the growing digital skills gap. Governments around the world are increasingly looking to address this gap, so we anticipate even more demand for their services in the coming months and years.”

BibliU BibliU cofounders



Cited by: Nic Brisbourne, managing partner at Forward Partners

In the Forward Partners portfolio? No

Total raised: $16 million

What it does: “By digitizing textbooks, BibliU gives students a lower cost and more interactive experience, whilst universities can help students have access to the content they need and understand which resources students use. Finally, publishers get distribution and can avoid the issue of second hand textbooks undercutting sales.”

Why it’s hot in 2020: “BibliU is a good example of an edtech company that is solving problems for multiple stakeholders … The business has good traction with universities such as Coventry, Cardiff, and Bath and publishers including Elsevier, Pearson and Springer making it one to watch in the future.”

Makers Makers coding academy



Cited by: Nic Brisbourne, managing partner at Forward Partners

In the Forward Partners portfolio? Yes

Total raised: $500,000

What it does: “Makers trains the next generation of engineers: whether that’s people entering the workforce, people looking to change and/or future proof their career. They offer a coding bootcamp and then do everything they can to find roles for their graduates at one of their 300-plus partner companies, including HSBC, Google, Deloitte, and Monzo.”

Why it’s hot in 2020: “The dramatic changes to our lives that we’ve seen this year will accelerate this trend that Makers sits on top of. The market for software development, just in the UK, sits at £33 billion and growing at a compound annual growth rate in excess of 5%.”

Labworks Labworks CEO Tom Hewitson Labworks CEO Tom Hewitson



Cited by: Reece Chowdhry, founder and CEO of RLC Ventures

In the RLC Ventures portfolio? Yes

Total raised: $1 million

What it does: “Labworks are an exciting voice games company operating in the edtech space. Since RLC led their pre-seed in 2019, they have launched the world’s first suite of voice-first games, Voice Arcade — think board games on your Alexa or Google devices.”

Why it’s hot in 2020: “We are extremely optimistic about the future of voice technology and see it being a crucial part of inclusive learning for people of all ages, abilities and geographical locations.”

Aula Anders Krohn CEO of Aula Aula CEO Anders Krohn



Cited by: Reece Chowdhry, founder and CEO of RLC Ventures

In the RLC Ventures? No

Total raised: $8 million 

What it does: Aula is a learning experience platform for higher education that works to boost student engagement. Aula brings students, staff, and faculty together in a digital environment that encourages interaction and collaboration.

Why it’s hot in 2020: “Even prior to a Covid-disrupted world, universities consistently underserved their students in delivering digital teaching experiences. Their solution is exciting and elegant, and we share their vision of a globalized and hybrid learning ecosystem.”

Kahoot Kahoot



Cited by: Isabelle O’Keeffe, principal at Sure Valley Ventures

In the Sure Valley Ventures portfolio? No

Total raised: $364 million

What it does: Kahoot describes itself as a “game-based learning platform that makes it easy to create, share, and play fun learning games and trivia quizzes.”

Why it’s hot in 2020: “I believe the reason for Kahoot’s effectiveness and growth is its focus on improving learning outcomes by boosting participation and motivation through competitive, game-based learning experiences.”

Immersive VR Education Immersive VR Education



Cited by: Isabelle O’Keeffe, principal at Sure Valley Ventures

In the Sure Valley Ventures portfolio? Yes

Total raised: $5 million

What it does: “Immersive VR Education uses virtual reality to transform the way educational content is consumed and delivered.”

Why it’s hot in 2020: “Their education and training platform has been in strong demand since the start of the pandemic and has been chosen by leading universities such as Stanford and Oxford due to its ability to create immersive, virtual classrooms. The VR experiences it has developed, based on Apollo 11 or the Titanic, immerse students in their curriculum and make learning more engaging.”

Tiney Brett Tiney Brett Wigdortz, founder of Tiney



Cited by: Kirsty Macdonald, investment manager at JamJar Investments

In the JamJar portfolio? Yes

Total raised: $7.8 million

What it does: “Tiney uses technology to recruit and train a new generation of childminders, to deliver a scalable curriculum to help children learn, and to support their childminders in running successful nurseries from home.”

Why it’s hot in 2020: “The early-years education space has been incredibly neglected for many years and we believe Tiney has the tech and talent to redress this.”

Knoma Knoma CEO and founder Brett Shanley Knoma CEO and founder Brett Shanley



Cited by: Kirsty Macdonald, investment manager at JamJar Investments

In the JamJar portfolio? No

Total raised: $27.5 million

What it does: “Knoma enables adults to easily access and spread the costs of training and education courses.”

Why it’s hot in 2020: “With the pressure on for people to retrain for the post-pandemic economy, I believe this type of edtech platform will gain an increasingly important role in the market.”

Pango Pango



Cited by: Alex Brunicki, Partner at Backed VC

In the Backed VC portfolio? No

Total raised: Undisclosed

What it does: “Pango is a digital platform that lets teachers plan curricula, collaborate with other educators, and design and distribute lessons.

“The firm really understands the market, which comes through in the platform design, in particular the intelligence layer which makes the discovery process more intuitive, and the in-app tools for creating high-quality lesson plans.”

Why it’s hot in 2020: “The global pandemic has accelerated the demand for online education, catalyzing innovation in the sector, and Pango will be one of the winners.”

Tech Will Save Us Tech Will Save Us A family players with TWSU’s Arcade Coder



Cited by: Alex Brunicki, Partner at Backed VC

In the BACKED VC portfolio? Yes

Total raised: $10 million

What it does: “Tech Will Save Us create educational STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) toys for 4-to 12-year-olds.”

Why it’s hot in 2020: “Their recent successful crowdfunding campaign — and their collaborations with everyone from Google to the BBC and Disney — show their products could be the equivalent of LEGO for Generation Alpha.”

Lingumi Toby Mather Lingumi Toby Mather, founder and CEO of Lingumi



Cited by: Suzanne Ashman Blair, partner at LocalGlobe

In the LocalGlobe portfolio? Yes

Total raised: $8 million

What it does: “Lingumi is a pre-school teaching platform with a mission is to bring the world’s best teaching experience to pre-school children around the world. The supply of exceptional teachers is extremely limited, expensive, and unscalable, so the default option for parents is to wait until the child enters national education, and begins a life of playing catch up.”

Why it’s hot in 2020: “We believe their teaching model, like Peloton’s coaching model, will change the way parents perceive the nature of, and need for, synchrony in a teacher-student relationship.”

Immersive Labs Immersive Labs promo image



Cited by: Suzanne Ashman Blair, partner at LocalGlobe

In the LocalGlobe portfolio? No

Total raised: $48 million

What it does: “Immersive Labs offers cyber security training to enterprise employees. But instead of traditional clickthrough quizzes, Immersive use ‘cyber war games’ for IT and security teams to learn from, which allows them to understand the latest attack techniques and hacker psychology, but more importantly to learn in a fun and effective way. “

Why it’s hot in 2020: “The way in which educational content is delivered has hardly changed for the past few decades despite challenges to its efficacy, so it’s exciting to see new models like Immersive that are attempting to redesign the student experience.”

iUKOS iUKOS cofounder and CEO Jake Hall iUKOS cofounder and CEO Jake Hall



Cited by: Jon Steinberg, CEO and cofounder of Mountside Ventures

In the Mountside portfolio? Yes

Total raised: Undisclosed

What it does: Based in London, iUKOS connects British tutors with students in Asia, offering a range of subjects and insights to UK the UK education system.

Why it’s hot in 2020: “We saw the massive demand from families in Asia to access Western tutors, with a 158% annual growth rate. They are seen by many as the number one source of British and European Tutors in Asia, and offer a one-stop-shop for online tutoring for ages 6-to-18, providing access to verified and vetted professional tutors.”

Hardskills Hardskills cofounders Anthony Hayward, Shoba Purushothaman, and Krish Menon Hardskills cofounders Anthony Hayward, Shoba Purushothaman, and Krish Menon



Cited by: Jon Steinberg, CEO and cofounder of Mountside Ventures

In the Mountside portfolio? No

Total raised: $1.2 million

What it does: Hardskills offers a B2B online learning platform focused on behavioral skills training at scale.

Why it’s hot in 2020: “We find Hardskills particularly interesting because with their high-quality content they’re delivering an average increase of 62% in skills gained, have a course completion rate that is five times the industry average — and on average users rate them at 9.2 out of 10.”

CPOMS CPOMS promo image



Cited by: Rory Nath, investment manager at ECI Partners

In the ECI portfolio? Yes

Total raised: Undisclosed

What it does: “CPOMS is a market-leading software solution for monitoring safeguarding, wellbeing and all pastoral issues in schools and other child-friendly environments. By recording issues on a centralised system, teachers can easily spot when a child could be at risk.”

Why it’s hot in 2020: “Safeguarding was particularly important during the first COVID-19 lockdown when institutions were closed, forcing schools to transition all schooling and processes to an online environment.

“For those that had online safeguarding processes in place, that could be a smooth transition to ensuring correct safeguarding processes could continue even in the new all-virtual school environment.”

Century PRIYA 17 RS Century founder Priya Lakhani



Cited by: Rory Nath, investment manager at ECI Partners

In the ECI portfolio? No

Total raised: $9.5 million

What it does: “Century is a tried and tested intelligent intervention tool that combines learning science, AI, and neuroscience to help teachers tailor their programmes for each student’s needs.”

Why it’s hot in 2020: “What makes it stand out is the fact that it brings together both psychology and technology to help enhance the learning experience, and provide teachers with the knowledge they need to ensure that they cater to each students individual needs.”

Collective Minds Collective Minds CEO Anders Nordell Collective Minds CEO Anders Nordell



Cited by: Dr. Fiona Pathiraja, founder of Crista Galli Ventures

In the Crista Galli Ventures portfolio? Yes

Total raised: $1.2 million

What it does: “Collective Minds puts medical education in the hands of the doctors in a secure manner using real patient cases, allowing doctors to continuously learn from and be connected to a global network of peers.”

Why it’s hot in 2020: “Radiology educators across Wales are using the Collective Minds platform to host courses and training for doctors in training to gain core skills in the run up to taking their board certification examinations.”

Kortext Kortext promo image



Cited by: Dr. Fiona Pathiraja, founder of Crista Galli Ventures

In the Crista Galli Ventures portfolio? No

Total raised: Undisclosed

What it does: “Kortext is the #1 digital textbook platform provider to the HE [higher education] sector in UK, with some 100 institutions using their platform, including 19 of the 24 Russell Group universities, both Oxford and Cambridge, and all leading London colleges.”

Why it’s hot in 2020: “Kortext returns detailed content usage analytics dashboards to the university, demonstrating the level of digital engagement by students.

“These data allow a university to understand digital engagement of each student, which is especially important at the moment as more students study remotely and Covid-19 continues to impact their ability to study on campus.”

Bastion Balance Seoul, Korea.