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CanopyLAB joins Design to Improve Life Fund 1 as the 12th investment

We're proud to announce the Design to Improve Life Fund's latest investment in CanopyLAB as part of a €2.5M equity funding round! 

The ed-tech platform, an Index Award 2017 nominee, is working to change the way we learn by combining artificial intelligence (AI), virtual learning, social media and empowerment. The platform offers white label solutions for educational institutions and organisations as well as free global learning solutions for leading NGOs focusing on the UN's SDGs, climate action and sustainability, democracy, entrepreneurship, health and sexual and reproductive rights.

"We're excited that this new investment allows us to rapidly accelerate our global sales and marketing activities," says Sahra-Josephine Hjorth, CanopyLAB's CEO and Co-Founder. "We have had a longstanding relationship with Design to Improve Life and admire the commitment to education, impact and design  these shared values make us ideal partners."

Finnish ed-tech specialist Sparkmind.vc led the investment round and was joined by The Index Project, JBO Invest and the existing investor group. The raised capital is focused on accelerating CanopyLAB's commercial growth and will enable the business to pursue new opportunities in new continents.

"In 2020 we captured a noticeable portion of the market in LatAm, and this capital enables us to replicate our rollout in Africa and Asia," says Hjorth. "COVID-19 is a 'burning platform' for many companies and educational institutions. For years, companies and educational institutions have discussed the need to digitise and prioritise internal training and development. Within a few weeks, it proved to be absolutely crucial to act on this."

"We have had a longstanding relationship with Design to Improve Life and admire the commitment to education, impact and design — these shared values make us ideal partners."

"As a direct effect of lockdowns of schools and educational institutions, we launched during the summer of 2020 TeacherLAB  a free, digital platform targeting teachers and educators globally with 40+ courses on the transitioning to remote teaching and teaching in the 21st century. This is a product that we're very proud of and we're happy to see that more than 25,000 users have taken courses and supported each other in this community."

The platform is now being used in over 200 schools by more than 100,000 students and 30 companies. CanopyLAB also runs a learning community, The Lab, enabling teachers and students to exchange ideas and take free courses based on materials from more than 100 NGOs. To date, the Lab has more than 25,000 teachers and close to 150,000 students as users. 

"We at Index have been following CanoplyLAB since the early days of the company and are wildly impressed to see how far they’ve come," says Liza Chong, CEO of The Index Project. "In a matter of a few years they’ve made milestone achievements, and we’re truly excited to be able to support the team and Canopy’s mission in the challenging and exciting journey ahead together with inspiring investors and VCs."

Next, the company is focused on reaching 500,000 learners and, eventually, becoming one of the global top ten ed-tech companies.

"We wanted to create digital learning experiences that made a true impact for both the learner and the company/organisation," says Hjorth. "There was overwhelming evidence from academics and research reports that most learners taking Massive Open Online Courses were dissatisfied with their learning experience and the dropout rates were as high as 93%. We felt that we could build something better and more intuitive that centred on a different approach to learning  one dominated by more dialogue, collaboration and critical thinking."