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Sumdog Gets £1.4 Million To Help Children

  • 14 September 2017
  • Disruptor Daily

Edinburgh-based educational technology company, Sumdog, is looking to help over 15 million children from poor backgrounds in the United States and United Kingdom over the next five years, thanks to securing £1.4 million in funding. This funding comes from Nesta Impact Investments, along with Scottish Enterprise, the investment arm of Scottish Investment Bank.

Sumdog uses a game-based system of learning that has been used by over three million kids in the United States and the United Kingdom to improve their scores in English and math. The company saw a 50% increase in turnover last year but expects to build on significant turnover growth this year.

Funding & Future

The company, founded in 1994, wants to have helped 15 million children in both countries by the year 2022. It is also expected to create a 3D learning environment that helps to enhance engagement with children. Following this most recent investment, the group expects to create new jobs in both New York and Edinburgh.

“Our core mission is to close the educational attainment gap by helping all children reach their full potential,” said chief executive Andrew Hall. “By capturing children’s imagination, Sumdog wants to become a world leader in online learning, starting with math and English but ultimately covering a much broader range of subjects.”

He also added that, “This £1.4m investment will make a crucial contribution as we strive to meet our objective of helping 15 million children across the UK and the US over the next five years.”

Investors

Scottish Enterprise is a Glasgow-based venture capital subsidiary that invests in medium and small sized businesses in seed, early, and late stage investment periods. They work with those in semiconductor, software, and biotechnology sectors. Recent investments include Causeway Therapeutics, 3fbio, and Kite Power Systems.

Kerry Sharp, head of the SIB, the investment arm of economic development agency Scottish Enterprise, said, “Our decision to provide growth funding to Sumdog was based on the company’s innovative approach, commitment to inclusion, international outlook, and economic added value – all factors that Scottish businesses need to be able to thrive and grow in the future.”

She added that “Sumdog is another example of a strong, successful Scottish company to come out of Edinburgh’s tech business hub and is a huge endorsement for Scotland’s position as one of the leading tech hubs in the world. In addition to investment, Scottish Enterprise has been supporting the company through our account management team in areas such as innovation, R&D, and international market development.”

Nesta Impact Investments invests in start-up and early stage media, education, and technology companies. They have a team of sector experts, venture capitalists, investors, and evaluators backed by Nesta. Other recent investments include GetMyFirstJob, Arbor Education, and Oomph Wellness.

Ishaan Chilkoti, a member of the Nesta Impact Investments team, said, “We believe Sumdog has developed a proven platform for online learning. They have shown a clear commitment to achieving social impact and are already reaching scores of children from disadvantaged backgrounds, both here in the UK and in the US. We are excited to support them as they embark on ambitious plans for future growth.”

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