Friday, September 24, 2021

Sheffield tutor platform raises £3m for international expansion

A Sheffield-based platform that helps parents and students to find online tutors has raised a further £3 million investment amidst a boom in business following the pandemic.

Tutorful has secured funding from Mercia’s Northern Venture Capital Trust (VCT) funds and NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

The platform achieved a 376% growth in revenue from online tuition during 2020 as students took to distance learning, whether to support their existing school or university studies or to learn new hobbies and skills. The triple-digit growth has also continued well into 2021.

Founded in 2015 by co-founder and CEO  Mark Hughes, Tutorful now has over 11,000 registered tutors covering more than 300 subjects. Around 70% of clients are children, with the remainder being adults who can learn anything from languages to music, computer programming or even get help with a PhD course.

Tutorful currently employs 55 permanent staff and recently launched in France and Ireland. The company initially raised £3.5m from the Northern VCTs in 2019.

The latest funding round will allow it to further enhance the platform, expand into new international markets and create around 27 additional jobs at its Sheffield headquarters.

Mark Hughes, co-founder and CEO, said: “Online learning now plays a key role in education but nothing can replace the benefits of one to one tuition.

“Tutorful offers the best of both worlds – it offers students easy access to some of the best teachers in the UK while leveraging the power of technology to make learning more fun and engaging.

“The platform has potential for use worldwide and this latest investment will help us to expand into other overseas markets.”

Ishaan Chilkoti of Mercia said: “The pandemic has accelerated the uptake of online learning. Tutorful’s growth shows that students have bought into and understand the benefits of online tuition and are happy to continue learning this way in the future.

“This latest funding round will help it to further expand its services and make tuition more accessible to all.”

Melanie Ellyard at Sheffield’s British Business Bank said: “The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is pleased to be supporting Tutorul to take the next step, as it looks to further develop its platform and grow internationally.

“Amidst an especially challenging time for the education sector, it has stepped up, sought the opportunity and been rewarded accordingly.”

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