Europe's Brighteye Ventures closes €50M fund to invest in edtech startups

Steve O'Hear
Brighteye Ventures, a relatively new European VC dedicated to investing in edtech startups, is announcing that it has closed a €50 million first fund.

Brighteye Ventures, a relatively new European VC dedicated to investing in edtech startups, is announcing that it has closed a €50 million first fund.

Eyeing up a slice of the estimated $6 trillion annual education market globally, which, arguably has seen modest digital disruption to date, the firm says it will lead or participate in seed and Series A and B rounds for innovative companies "using technology to enhance learning and creativity".

Specifically, I'm told Brighteye Ventures is on the look out for companies targeting various educational levels, from K-12 to university to lifelong learning. The VC plans to lead investments in Europe and Israel, and co-invest alongside investment partners in the U.S., while the investment amount will range from €500,000 to €3 million per round. That should see Brighteye, whose LPs consist of unnamed European family offices, back around 20 companies over the next three years.

Run out of Paris -- though the fund itself is registered in Luxembourg -- Brighteye Ventures is being managed by Managing partner Alex Spiro with the help of investment partner Benoit Wirz.

Spiro (pictured) has a background in children’s media, and is co-founder of children’s publisher Flying Eye Books, and Minilab Studios, an educational app development studio. Wirz is said to bring nearly 20 years experience of developing and investing in edtech, media, enterprise software and other tech companies, most recently at the Knight Foundation.

Meanwhile, although the closing is only being announced today, as is often the case, Brighteye Ventures has already begun investing from its fund. In May, the VC firm participated in an $8 million series C round for Epic!, a digital content platform for under 12s, and in August it joined Lightneer’s $5 million seed round. The latter is a learning games studio based in Helsinki and founded by ex-Rovio executives.

To that end, Wirz is talking up Brighteye as "a truly operational VC," claiming that the VC is well-positioned to connect its portfolio companies to clients, educators, advisors and investors in order to "amplify their growth".

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