HEX raises $1.25m, partners with City of Melbourne to accelerate growth

Jeanette Cheah, Chief Executive Officer and founder of HEX

Multi-award-winning edtech, HEX has completed a seed funding raise of $1.25m in its bid to build out its new digital ‘innovation gap year’ program, HEX Ed, created in partnership with Atlassian and affiliated with more than 36 Aussie and international universities.

Based in Melbourne and co-founded in 2017 by globally recognised innovator Jeanette Cheah, the educational technology, HEX delivers immersive future-focused and entrepreneurship programs to university students and the next generation of talent.

HEX to further its Ed program following funding

The funds raised will fuel HEX’s impressive growth and its mission to ’empower a generation of new economy leaders and raise the exponential intelligence of the global workforce’.

Hex wants to further build out the Ed program while expanding its global community of over 9,000 members, with international growth into markets including the US, Malaysia and India.

HEX CEO and founder Jeanette Cheah says the funding will help the company reach more
students globally to teach them skills and expose them to alternative career paths.

“We all know there continues to be a skills gap between what young people are learning at school and what they actually need to be job-ready. The tech talent shortage is happening around the world, and let’s face it – the world is crying out for fresh leadership.”

“It’s our responsibility to arm the next generation with the necessary skills and knowledge to be the leaders we need for the future economy. This is why HEX is committed to establishing the ‘innovation gap year’ as an essential step in students’ learning journey.”

“We are in a high-growth phase that will be accelerated by the current funding round. We are extremely proud to be working with such a strong group of investors who are gender diverse, impact-focused, and rule-breakers in their own rights.”

“They don’t believe linear career paths are the only option, and share our vision to empower the generation who will change the face of business and technology. We are excited about what the future holds for our students and are grateful for the value each investor brings.”

Women empowerment behind HEX funding

The raise was led by impact venture capital fund Giant Leap.

It also attracted a consortium of investors who focus on female founders and women-led startups, including LaunchVic’s Alice Anderson Fund and angel network, Scale Investors.

Additional industry players who participated in this round include global entrepreneurial ecosystem Draper Startup House Ventures; Aussie Angels, an investment syndicate launched by startup champion Cheryl Mack; and startups and edtech expert Wendy Bonnici.

Previously, HEX secured a cash injection from revenue-based financing firm, Tractor Ventures.

Adam Milgrom, Partner, Giant Leap, says, “HEX is addressing the uncertain future for jobseekers graduating. The skills taught by the programs go beyond “job-readiness” to “life-readiness” by including courses in personal finance, ethics and entrepreneurialism.”

“Jeanette is a brilliant founder and has built an incredibly strong community around HEX. We’re in awe of her ability to foster major partnerships with companies like Atlassian to not only further her business but drive better, tangible outcomes for young people.”

Dr Kate Cornick, CEO of LaunchVic, says, “We are excited to see HEX take the next step in
their journey, especially the important task of building the next generation of tech talent.”

“The capital secured will help them refine their product offer and propel their long-term growth, something LaunchVic ensures right across all aspects of the Victorian startup sector.”

Prior to the pandemic, HEX led international study programs for students around the world,
including regular visits to Silicon Valley and home of the Asian startup economy, Singapore.

Despite the pandemic, HEX experienced growth last year, a 24% increase in revenue, an expanded client footprint in the UK, Canada and NZ, and doubled the team from 5 to 11.