Labster raises $10M to bring virtual lab simulations to students
Labster ApS, a Danish producer of virtual laboratory simulations, raised $10 million in a funding effort led by Balderton Capital, with participation from Northzone and Unity Technologies founder David Helgason, which will allow the education tech company to continue its expansion in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
Labster provides an easily accessible way for students from all over the world to experience science. The company creates fully interactive advanced virtual lab simulations that use technology from computer gaming and research on the psychology of learning to guide students through real science experiments. Working with customers such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the U.S., and Imperial College in London, Labster develops simulations designed to deepen students’ learning and prepare them for more advanced studies in real labs. University students can perform simulations of experiments as many times as they need to, around their own timetable on their own devices, or in a classroom with the guidance of a teacher.
Labster has a bank of more than 64 simulations, from a basic introduction to acids and bases where students can perform a simulation of handling corrosive chemicals, to a simulation of using a confocal microscope. All simulations include games and challenges to keep students engaged and learning. Increasingly simulations can be accessed through Virtual Reality headsets to give the student the experience of actually being in the lab.
From being able to visualize the molecular processes that lead to diseases, to being exposed to difficult counseling situations in a cytogenetic clinic, virtual simulations expand the training opportunities for medical students beyond the limits of time and resources.
From being able to visualize the molecular processes that lead to diseases, to being exposed to difficult counseling situations in a cytogenetic clinic, virtual simulations expand the training opportunities for medical students beyond the limits of time and resources. For example, in Labster’s Cytogenetics Simulation, ( https://www.labster.com/simulations/cytogenetics/ )medical students have the opportunity to counsel a couple about the risk of their future children of developing a dangerous genetic disease.”
Students, from high school through university, can access Labster’s simulations for a monthly subscription. The company has customers at over 150 institutions in 25 countries, including ETH in Zurich, Harvard Medical School, MIT and Imperial College.
Labster intends to develop new simulations for students in chemistry, physics and medicine – and Balderton and Northzone’s investment will fund Labster’s expansion in the US and Europe, as well as help initiate special projects in South America, the Middle East and Africa. The funding will also enable the company to continue its extensive research into the learning impact of virtual content and new technologies on students from around the world.
“Labster provides the education sector with an opportunity to increase learning and motivation to unprecedented levels,” says Labster founder and CEO Mads Tvillinggaard Bonde. “By uniting elements from the psychology of learning, virtual simulations and gaming, Labster is helping students learn more effectively and use resources that might be otherwise impossible to access. This funding from Balderton Capital and Northzone will give us the opportunity to engage even more students globally, helping young people achieve their qualifications as well as opening up their minds to the applications of science.”