According to a statement, ByteDance, the Chinese technology giant behind video-sharing app TikTok, led the funding round with participation from existing global investors TAL Education Group, a K-12 after school tutoring education services provider, and Yongjin Group, a holding company and private equity investor.
“Our Series C funding will allow us to see improved educational outcomes”
Additional investors include Pinpoint Ventures, Kakao Ventures, Tan Tan Ventures, Lighthouse Combined from Korea as well as other new and existing investors.
Minerva will use the capital to accelerate access to its learning experiences through partnerships with universities and corporations.
“Minerva’s model for higher education is attracting interest from leading institutions and organisations who want to use the intellectual property we have developed,” said Ben Nelson, founder, chairman and CEO of Minerva Project.
“Our Series C funding will allow us to see improved educational outcomes for students beyond those at Minerva Schools, as we fuel the growth of these partnerships to fulfil Minerva’s mission of nurturing critical wisdom.”
Along with the announcement of the Series C funding, Minerva welcomed two new board members, founder and CEO of Bytedance Zhang Yiming and Wendy Kopp, founder and CEO of Teach for All and founder of Teach For America.
“We are excited and impressed by Minerva’s innovative approach to educating the next generation of talent,” said Yiming.
Founded in 2012, Minerva aims to bridge the traditions of a research-based university education with the innovations possible through technology.
The company’s software, Forum, is designed to facilitate interaction via live video and ensure that professors keep students engaged and on track to reach learning outcomes.
In a conversation with EdSurge, Minerva’s CEO said the platform currently has more traction at international universities than in the US, and that strong investor interest in Asia is not a coincidence.
“There is a recognition in China that artificial intelligence and education are inextricably linked,” Nelson added.
“There’s going to be a lot of collaboration between us in the coming years.”