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London-based Third Space Learning, formerly KnowMaths, raised a £750k Angel Round with support from ClearlySo, an agency that connects social entrepreneurs with investors.
The round was led by the Clearly Social Angels network which put $200k in the round. Other investors include Charles Prior, Founder of BPP; Andrew Colin, Founder and Executive Chair of INTO University Partnerships; Will Hobhouse, former Chairman of Explore Learning and Jack Wills; and Telefonica, through their Wayra UnLtd Social Technology programme.
Founded in 2013 by Tom Hooper, Third Space Learning uses virtual classrooms to connect disadvantaged students with maths experts from around the world for personalised 1:1 tutoring sessions.
Third Space sells its service directly to schools. Teachers can then select personalized learning objectives for students in need who then connect with their personal tutor via a virtual classroom. All sessions take place in school and Third Space is currently used in over 70 schools across the UK.
Third Space takes also part in a two-year study by the Education Endowment Foundation, one of the first studies in the UK that aims to analyze learning outcomes from using innovative approaches in the classroom. During the randomised control trial with Third Space and the Universities of York and Durham, the EEF will fund 600 pupils to go through the Third Space programme, tracking the attainment on socially disadvantaged students at risk of failure.
Third Space Learning is not the first endeavour in online tutoring for Tom Hooper. In 2009 he founded Brightspark, an online tuition platform for students in the UK that connected them with tutors in India. After raising funding from TSL Education in March 2011 Hooper sold the business to TSL in July 2012.
Third Space won the Big Venture Challenge and received investment through this programme from The Big Lottery Fund. They were selected as part of the inaugural cohort of Telefonica’s social technology start up programme, Wayra UnLtd. The new funding will be used to scale the business with the aim to reach more students.
“Our vision is to create a global community of talent, changing the means of supply so that every child can have access to the one-to-one help they need. This vision has been embraced by schools across the country, and now by the Education Endowment Foundation. We have been fortunate to receive the backing of talented angel investors who share our ambitions, and bring incredible experience in founding and building global education businesses. Their support will be invaluable in achieving our aims.”
states Tom Hooper in the press release.