imagiLabs (www.imagilabs.com), the all-female founded startup that makes coding more accessible to young girls, has raised $300k (€250k) in pre-seed funding, allowing it to further equip the next generation of working women with critical coding skills.
Angel investors participating in the round include Eros Resmini, Founder & Managing Partner at The Mini Fund and the former CMO of messaging platform Discord; David Baszucki, CEO of gaming giant Roblox; members of Atomico’s Angel Program; and Propel Capital, the investment arm of Stockholm’s leading tech incubator Sting.
A number of high profile proponents of gender equality in technology participated in the round. The financing will be used to maintain imagiLabs’ significant international growth and to continue to foster an engaged community of young girl coders, who use the imagiLabs apps to learn from each other, share coding tips and designs, and build relationships.
Founded in 2018, and an alumnus of both Apple’s Entrepreneur Camp and Google for Startups, imagiLabs is bridging the gender divide in coding with its wearable device, the imagiCharm.
Featuring an 8×8 matrix of LEDs, the imagiCharm can be visually customised to display tens of thousands of different designs, such as flowers, rising suns, animals etc., based upon the Python code written by a user into the accompanying imagiLabs iOS or Android apps.
imagiCharm sales increased by 300% between Q3 and Q4 of 2020.
Dora Palfi, imagiLabs CEO and co-founder, comments: “This funding will help us on our mission to get as many young girls into coding as possible. Ultimately, we want to inspire people to learn to love coding, and to foster that kind of passion from an early age. Only by supporting young girls while at school can we build gender parity in tech for future generations. The support of these fantastic investors will help drive this.”
Eros Resmini, Founder & Managing Partner at The Mini Fund and former Discord CMO, adds: “I’m delighted to be supporting imagiLabs on its mission to bridge the gender divide in tech. The company has created a vibrant community for young girls who want to learn to code. As the proud father of a daughter, I know that fun and social learning processes can foster passions that last a lifetime.”
Inspiring the next generation of female technologists
According to PWC, just 5% of leadership positions in the technology sector are held by women. A study by Google and Gallup, meanwhile, found that 12-year-old boys and girls share a similar interest in Computer Science, but by 14 only 12% of girls are interested in Computer Science, compared to 47% of boys. This divergence is borne out in the adult workforce: women represent only 21.5% of all digital jobs and in 2019 $92 of every $100 of tech investment went to all-male founding teams in Europe.
It is these damning issues within the technology sector that imagiLabs, a rare example of an all-female founded product-centric startup, is aiming to resolve.
Other investors participating include: Aurore Lanchart (Fellow ODF7 at On Deck); Akim Arhipov (CEO BASIS ID); Julia Delin (CEO at SSE Business Lab); Katja Toropainen (Founder of Inklusiv) and Karina Univer (Head of Partner Relations at LIFT99), both of whom investedvia Atomico’s Angel Program. Propel Capital, the investment arm of Stockholm’s leading tech incubator Sting, followed-on from its earlier investment.
Founded in 2018, imagiLabs is an ed-tech startup building the world’s only mobile-first community for teenage girls interested in tech. It was the first Swedish company to be accepted into Apple’s Entrepreneur Camp (spring 2019 cohort), and was also selected for Google for Startups (Female Founders Fall 2019 cohort). imagiLabs has received funding and support from Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Technology and the prestigious tech incubator Sting. Key clients include the Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson and Tekla Festival, an event set up by pop musician Robyn designed to involve more teenage girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).