Social impact investor Nesta Impact Investments (NII), part of Nesta, and London-based investment manager, Downing, have led a GBP2 million growth funding round in Empiribox, a science education provider which supplies resources for primary school teachers to teach practical science lessons. Empiribox subscribers are sent science equipment, lesson and assessment resources and professional development plans for teachers. As teachers are forced to adapt quickly to teaching remotely during the COVID-19 outbreak, the investment will help Empiribox to launch its new online platform to engage students with exciting and practical science lessons from afar.
The new digital ‘Empiribox@Home’ service will provide interactive videos, worksheets, quizzes and hands-on experiments allowing impactful science education to take place from home. This new product will serve as an add-on to the existing subscription service and as a stand-alone service that will be free for use by registered users during the Summer Term.
Nesta and Downing’s investment will enable Empiribox Ltd to tackle the UK’s persistent STEM skills gap by capturing the imaginations of students at a time when science education is needed more than ever to address global challenges such as climate change, health pandemics and resource conservation.
Empiribox aligns to the national curriculum, inspires children of all ages and saves time for teachers. Its mission is to ensure young pupils experience the excitement of science, are equipped with the best building blocks for future science education and are ultimately encouraged to study science subjects past the age of compulsory education.
Manish Miglani, Education Lead at Nesta Impact Investments, who has joined the Empiribox Board, says: “Nesta’s education investment activity focuses on innovative and scalable solutions that improve education outcomes, whilst reducing education inequalities through access to resources.
“We are excited to have taken part in this significant growth round and look forward to seeing the expansion of Empiribox’s digital and classroom science offerings and its ongoing growth.”
Mike Kennedy, Portfolio Director at Downing LLP, who has also joined the Empiribox board, adds: “We are thrilled to have participated in this funding round alongside Nesta Impact Investments to facilitate what we see as a critical investment in the future of STEM related business and research. Working with businesses everywhere, we recognise the lack of adequately experienced applicants for manufacturing, research and technology posts – so many of which will require an education or qualifications in science – so we are unreservedly passionate about assisting companies like Empiribox in their mission. We see the opportunity for Empiribox to grow its user base exponentially, break into new markets and really influence the education outcomes for pupils everywhere. We look forward to working with Empiribox in this exciting new phase.”
Richard McGrath, CEO of Empiribox, says: “I am delighted to have completed our funding round with Downing LLP and Nesta Impact Investments. At Empiribox, we have worked tirelessly to bring hands-on, exciting and impactful science education to primary pupils. We know what we do makes a real difference to our pupils in preparing them for future careers, and our teachers, in assisting them to deliver the very best practical science lessons possible.
“We now have the opportunity to support science in primary schools through our in-school and our new Empiribox@Home service. Having both available for use by schools and home learners is incredibly important during these difficult times. We are here to make a difference, and this funding round will make a massive impact on our ability to deliver these goals.”