Jolt — Rethinking Education 101
It’s a pleasure to announce our latest investment into Jolt, together with Hilsven Capital and Pico Partners.
Jolt is setting a new agenda in the education sector by building a higher education institution for professionals.
Education is such an integral part of our lives we may not think of it as a sector in the business sense, despite both the UK and the US spending around 5% of their GDP on education. Last year, the education tech exit growth streak ended when the industry saw 81 exits. Recent acquisitions such as General Assembly ($413m) and Lynda ($1.5bn) have set a new bar for deals in this space.
Education Tech, or EdTech, is still nascent, but is becoming ready to take advantage of recent dramatic changes to the education sector. Ongoing scepticism about the correlation between academic credentials and success, questions about academic research and its practical applications, increasing pressure for affordability, and, of course, technology that will transform learning’s reach are all taking effect. To find solutions to these raising issues, we need to rethink traditional ways of approaching education.
Jolt looks at education with fresh eyes and defines a new strategy designed to serve students and society. To borrow Jolt CEO, Roei Deutsch’s words, Jolt provides…
…“learning that is as available, as affordable and as addictive as coffee”…
And who doesn’t like coffee?
How do they do this? Jolt streams real experts from the best schools in the world (e.g. businesses) into physical rooms. So if you’d like to borrow expertise from a Google engineer or a Stanford professor, Jolt has the hookup. Students benefit from access to experts without compromising the social learning experience.
Despite the complexity of bringing together online and offline learning, what we loved most about Jolt is their big vision and the opportunity to create a consumer brand that professionals love. Jolt’s ability to understand the educational needs of young professionals and build world class content make it possible for them to scale their product quickly across cities and countries. But it was the strong management team and the unique balance it strikes between strong analytical skills and passion that finally brought us over.
I first met the team through my personal network in Israel, and since then haven’t stopped being impressed by their focus on execution, simplicity and scale. We’re excited to be part of the journey. Jolt launches in London on January 2019. I’ll be joining the sessions and you can subscribe here. Perhaps we’ll meet there?