The edtech startup Smowltech closes a €1.65M investment round with Wayra and the impact funds Fondo Bolsa Social and Sparkmind
- The Spanish company offers supervision solutions that allow educational institutions and companies to check online exams, strengthening the quality of online training and making it more accessible.
- The objective of the capital increase is to continue developing its technology and accelerate the consolidation of its business both in Spain and in Latin America.
Madrid, May 4, 2022.- The Spanish edtech startup Smowltech has closed an investment round of 1.65 million euros . Wayra , Telefónica’s open innovation hub, has been one of the investors that have participated in this round led by the Social Stock Exchange Fund , a reference fund in Spain for social impact, and Sparkmind VC , a Finnish fund specialized in the education sector .
With the closing of this funding round, Smowltech will continue to develop its cutting-edge monitoring technology , strengthen its product and marketing teams, and consolidate its presence in its core markets in Europe and Latin America.
Established in San Sebastian in 2012, Smowltech has developed a proprietary technology that can continuously verify user identity using multi-biometric data . Funded with support from the European Commission, its technology enables education providers to verify the identity of students taking exams online, while also monitoring their behavior during the task.
Monitoring solutions like those from Smowltech are key to ensuring the credibility and quality of online education providers , as they significantly mitigate the risks of fraud during online assessments. At the same time, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), online education can accelerate universal access to education, thus contributing to the generalization of quality education (SDG 4), while facilitating the socioeconomic development of the student, regardless of their socioeconomic status.
In particular, online education helps overcome physical barriers for people with disabilities and removes geographical barriers for students located in rural or remote locations, particularly those in emerging countries. In addition, it facilitates the social inclusion of low-income students who cannot afford travel or accommodation costs during training programs. Additionally, online education provides flexible learning paths for people with work schedules or family commitments incompatible with face-to-face training, who want to educate themselves to improve their socioeconomic situation.
Currently, Smowltech supports more than 100 educational institutions, companies and governments to provide confidence in their online learning processes (exams, certifications, recruitment, etc.), mainly in Europe and Latin America.
“We are committed to achieving a world with access to quality education, reducing the barriers that prevent it, thus creating better opportunities for all. We are sure that solutions like ours really have a positive impact on users’ lives. Sharing these types of values, which are the basis of our business at Smowltech, allows us to continue innovating and improving the quality of our service”, said Ricardo Vea , Founder and CEO of Smowltech.
For José Moncada , general director of Fondo Bolsa Social, “the technology developed by Smowltech makes it easier for students with limited resources or with mobility problems to access training of verifiable quality. It is a great step forward in the new training models and we believe that it can be instrumental for the social elevator to work properly. We see a huge potential for social impact of Smowltech to improve education in our country. And, in particular, in Latin America, where geographical dispersion and social inequality are more accentuated”.
“At Wayra we are excited to invest in Smowltech, a startup that is capable of providing a layer of reliability and trust to remote assessment processes with the use of technology. With its solution, increasingly useful if we take into account the rise of online education, Smowltech is already transforming and improving the lives of all evaluators and teachers who work remotely”, explains Paloma Castellano, director of Wayra Madrid.
Wayra is the entrepreneurial initiative of Telefónica’s Open Innovation program, the most global, technological and connected in the world. It has seven Wayra Hubs, facilities in nine countries in Latin America and Europe through which it invests and supports startups; Wayra X, a digital hub that invests in 100% digital startups; Wayra Builder, a corporate venture builder to create, together with other investors, innovative startups born from Telefónica’s internal technological projects; and Wayra Next Trend, a window to digital innovation on trends and innovative applications. In addition, through the Wayra Activation Program, it offers entrepreneurs exclusive and free access to new technologies through Telefónica’s own platforms.
Smowltech is an edtech startup with a mission to build trust in online learning to improve accessibility to quality online education and, as a result, empower users to access new learning opportunities that can significantly improve its quality . of life.
Sparkmind is the first Nordic venture capital fund focused exclusively on the learning sector. The fund invests from early stage to Series B in teams that transform the way the world learns. Their investments are focused on solutions that improve learning outcomes, increase learning access and efficiency, or use data insights to better support educators and students.
About Bolsa Social Fund
Bolsa Social Impacto FESE is a social impact fund that invests in early-stage Spanish startups (pre-seed, seed and series A) with high growth potential and with the mission of producing a measurable and positive impact on society or the environment. The Fund has made ten investments in companies with an impact on health and well-being, inclusive and quality education, responsible production and consumption, climate action, and social integration and development. Registered by the CNMV as a European Fund for Social Entrepreneurship (FESE), it is managed by the management company Analistas Financieros Internacionales (Afi Inversiones Globales, SGIIC) and its advisory team is led by José Moncada, founder of Bolsa Social.