Social enterprise edutech startup 1Scope has announced it has raised $1 million in funding from Chinese-backed property developer Aqualand, which has launched Aqualand Capital to expand its own business interests.
Set to launch officially in August, 1Scope looks to help students get real-world work experience that is relevant to their skills and interests by helping organisations offering work experience programs manage and measure the effectiveness of their offering.
Christina Chun, founder and CEO of 1Scope, said her goal for the startup is to “bridge the gap between the education system and employers” and in turn create new opportunities for students.
“I started 1Scope as I passionately believe students deserve greater access to opportunities outside of higher and tertiary education programs,” she said.
“Today’s students are clever and capable and keen to apply for opportunities and training where it’s useful to them. Finding those opportunities and getting from A to B is the hard part for students and is the problem that 1Scope is trying to solve.”
With the platform having been in beta since last October, Chun said the investment from Aqualand will help the startup fast track its official launch and scale up its work pitching organisations. Aqualand will also be providing the startup with free office space for 12 months.
“This gives us the opportunity to see more students matched with more opportunities quickly,” she said.
“We are pleased that the Aqualand Capital investment allows us to give more Australian secondary and tertiary students an avenue to expand their real-life skills and experience and grow their confidence by matching them with valuable development opportunities.”
Jin Lin, managing director of Aqualand, said the organisation’s venture capital division has been established to diversity its commercial model, with the goal to “increase its development capability, take advantage of new technologies, increase efficiency, and provide shareholders with long term return on investment”.
He said, “When we saw the potential for 1Scope to make a difference to the adults of tomorrow, together with the enthusiasm and skills of [Chun], we knew this was an initiative that required our support.”
The Australian subsidiary of China’s Shenglong Group, which has investments totaling more than US$25 billion, Aqualand was established in 2014 to invest in the Australian market.
As well as funding, Aqualand states it will also provide access to specialist resources from its property development business to its portfolio startups, including marketing, legal, and finance expertise.
Image: Christina Chun. Source: Supplied.