News in Brief

Proof of education company raises $3m VC

diploma certificate

Today Learning Machine Technologies announced it had closed a $3million seed funding. PTB Ventures led the round that includes Omidyar Network and Learn Capital.

The company helps organizations such as universities and professional bodies issue blockchain credentials such as degrees and professional qualifications. It created the open source Blockcerts standard in association with MIT Media Lab.

A Blockcert can be issued on any public or private blockchain and are globally interoperable. CTO Kim Duffy heads up the W3C Credentials Community Group.

The University of Nicosia in Cyprus was one of the first to publish academic certificates on a blockchain.

Learning Machine is currently working with the Government of Malta education department, The Federation of State Medical Boards for health qualifications and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

CEO Chris Jagers was previously CEO of SlideRoom. The startup targeted universities admissions departments helping graduates and undergraduates submit applications. Liaison acquired the business in late 2017.

Dave Fields of PTB said: “Academic and professional credentials are arguably the most valuable social currencies we have. It’s fitting that digitization of these credentials, this social currency, is one of the first consumer applications of blockchain. As labor markets and the workforce become increasingly global and mobile, tamper-proof, instantly verifiable credentials solve a real social problem. The economic gains from this solution accrue to human capital in a distributed, democratic fashion.”