FourthRev, a Melbourne startup that connects universities with industry to design pathways to employment, has closed its seed fundraising round at $A4.16m – with backing from some of the world’s leading education investors.

The edtech was founded by Omar de Silva and Jack Hylands in 2019 to address the global digital skills gap. de Silva and Hylands have previously worked in founder and executive roles across the Online Program Management (OPM), bootcamp and higher education sectors.

On Tuesday FourthRev announced it has closed its seed fundraising round at A$4.16m. 

The fundraising round was led by Reach Capital, a US-based education specialist VC whose portfolio includes educational trailblazers Handshake, Class Dojo and Outschool. Existing investors Emerge Education returned for the seed round, alongside Dunce Capital. Alongside top VC firms, FourthRev has secured backing from a number of notable Angel investors including US education executive Craig Pines and Charlie Songhurst, former Head of Corporate Strategy at Microsoft. 

The company says an explosion in demand for online learning during 2020 and the participation of education heavyweight Reach Capital means FourthRev brought forward its seed round funding. FourthRev’s pre-seed fundraising round closed at A$800,000 in February 2020.

The funds raised will primarily be used to develop FourthRev’s world-class online learning platform and to double the size of the global team, which is currently 35-strong. The start-up is looking to expand operations across the three key markets in which the edtech entered last year: Australia, the US and the UK. 

FourthRev  co-founder, Omar de Silva (pictured above) said, “The quality of the investors who are supporting FourthRev, especially Emerge Education and Reach Capital who have backed leading innovators in our industry, confirms that our vision – for learning experiences which combine the very best of industry-aligned capability development and the unique value of leading universities – has a strong place in the global future of higher education.”

In less than two years, de Silva and Hylands have formed partnerships with many of the world’s biggest tech companies, including AWS, GitHub and Tableau, and top universities to create learning experiences that offer a direct pathway to qualifications and employment in the digital economy.

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