June 19, 2023

Brighteye closes new €100m fund for edtech innovation

The edtech VC will back European founder from pre-seed to Series A, and has backing from the European Investment Fund

Sadia Nowshin

2 min read

Brighteye Ventures, based in the UK, Luxembourg and France, has announced a €100m final close of its second fund to back around 35 edtech startups across Europe. 

The investment basis

The second fund is twice the size of Brighteye’s first, closed in 2017, and is split into two parts, says partner Benoit Wirz: 

  • Around 95% of the cash will go towards a core investment pool backing roughly 25-30 seed and Series A startups with €1.5m-4m. 
  • A minority pool will back five to ten pre-seed companies alongside angel investors and other pre-seed VCs, with cheques between €200k-500k. 

The Brighteye team is also saving 50% of its core investments pool for follow-on cheques, with the aim of matching the initial amount committed. 31 deals have already been made from this fund. 


What is the fund looking for? 

Wirz says that the fund is interested in three main edtech business models. Around 25-30% of the deals will be focused on consumer-facing companies and startups that sell directly to schools, universities and governments. The remaining 40-50% of deals will be focused on B2B companies. 

When it comes to tech, the Wirz says the fund is particularly interested in backing companies that are working to bridge the industry talent and skills gap, especially within the verticals of climate, healthcare and construction. Companies are in need of employees, he says, to implement, install and operate the technology that is being developed in those verticals. 

The LPs

  • European Investment Fund (EIF) 
  • Partners in Equity 
  • Jacobs Foundation
  • Family offices based across Europe, Asia and the Middle East 

European edtech’s report card

Edtechs have not been immune from the effects of the downturn — they raised $1.8bn from investors in 2022, according to Dealroom, a 30% decrease compared to 2021. 

The number of people using online learning resources has also dipped on average in the EU, according to a 2023 Eurostat survey — 26% of 16-74 year olds used them in 2022 compared to 28% the year before. 

But there are still some geographies where people remain keen to adopt new ways of learning: in Finland, 50% of respondents to the same Eurostat survey said they'd used an online resource in the three months prior, and Wirz says the team are finding exciting developments in the UK, France and Spain. The fund also aims to increase Brighteye’s portfolio in the DACH region. 

Sadia Nowshin

Sadia Nowshin is an editorial assistant at Sifted. Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn