Israeli-founded edtech startup Jolt has raised $14.1 million in Series A funding, led by London-based venture capital firm Balderton Capital, with participation from Hillsven Capital and Octopus Ventures, TechCrunch reported on Monday.
This brings the company’s total funding to $23.3 million in three years.
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Founded in 2015 by Nadav Leshem, Nitzan Cohen Arazi, Roei Deutsch, Jolt is a flexible business school offering affordable alternatives to traditional MBA courses through “micro campuses around the world.” Jolt’s network of spaces are designed for young professionals eager to switch or accelerate their careers, but who can’t necessarily afford the tuition of a traditional masters program, according to European tech news site Tech.eu.
Students only pay for the classes they need to build their own diploma and are not required to complete the whole program. Courses can also be paused, as they operate on a monthly rolling basis.
The company tells TechCrunch it plans to use the additional capital “to continue expansion across the UK and Israel and to enter the US with a first campus in Manhattan, New York.
Jolt currently has three locations in London (Shoreditch, Soho, and Liverpool Street) and seven in Israel.
“At Jolt, we’re creating a high-end, in-person, widely global and affordable higher education platform that people can actually see as an alternative to traditional higher education,” Jolt co-founder and CEO Roei Deutsch told TechCrunch.
“During our time in the Israeli Defense Forces, we were astonished at how regular people could be turned into intelligence officers within months, demonstrating that the military and other government organizations are effective at training people while the rest of the population is seemingly suffering from education that’s not always good enough,” the CEO adds. “This led us to question why traditional, centuries-old private and government-led educational institutions seem to struggle to achieve such results, which motivated us to build an alternative higher education option.”
Deutsch, who describes Jolt’s instructors as “highly skilled professionals who are currently working for some of the world’s biggest and most innovative companies,” explains how to sign up for courses.
“Students sign up for lessons via the Jolt app and attend these lessons at their nearest campus,” he says, “Lessons are offered outside of traditional working hours, largely in the evening, to help people study alongside their day job. Once they’ve completed a lesson/section, they are given a qualification that can be used straightaway, or put towards part of a wider diploma. These lessons and workshops revolve around practical application of the skills, debates and discussions, role-playing and other interactive tasks.”
A Jolt “NAMBA” program, which is not an MBA, costs £175 a month
($227.26), or £4,500 in total ($5,844), which the company claims is more than six times cheaper than traditional UK MBAs.