Halifax-based Shoelace Learning has attracted investment from BDC Capital’s Thrive Venture Fund, closing out an oversubscribed seed round that the edtech company had originally targeted at $4 million. 

Shoelace previously announced a US$3 million first close of the round in November, and said at the time it expected the round to reach US$4.5 million. The round was led by female-focused venture capital fund Sandpiper Ventures, with BDC Capital’s Thrive Venture Fund for women entrepreneurs also signing on more recently.

More than 5 million children in Grades 2 through 8, across 160 countries, play Shoelace’s Dreamscape reading game. The company’s eventual goal is to launch a roster of different educational games that collectively become the industry standard. The company aims to have 10 million educators and children using its platform by the end of next year.

“In today’s digital world, we want to see more innovation enabling better and more effective access to education," said Michelle Scarborough, Managing Partner of the Thrive Venture Fund. "Shoelace’s platform is highly engaging with exciting content making it a powerful tool for both students and educators. Shoelace is providing an accessible and adaptative solution to meaningfully improve not just the learning experience, but also outcomes."

CEO Julia Rivard Dexter said that Dreamscape’s commercial strengths include its high conversion and retention rates for users.

“With this investment, we have a clear and disciplined plan focused on adding more games to Shoelace to give players more choice, and adding more assignments for teachers to reach all students' learning gaps in reading and comprehension across all subjects,” said Rivard Dexter in a statement.

Shoelace Learning was also recently one of eight winners at the Future of Education Technology Conference’s Pitchfest competition in New Orleans. 

And earlier this month, the company announced it had been selected as one of the Elite 200 finalists for the GSV Cup — a competition backed by Arizona State University and venture capital giant Global Silicon Valley.