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Five UK edtech startups to watch this school year

edtech startups

As September ushers in a new school year, from primary to post-grad, education will be a top priority for the millions in the UK continuing their studies.

While the pandemic fundamentally changed what was considered possible in education, and complications now surrounding operational costs for schools put pressure on the coming year, the edtech sector marches on, seeking to innovate education.

The UK edtech industry is on the rise, having received $609m (£527.3m) in investments in 2021, a major increase from the $164m (£142m) seen the year prior, according to Statista.

Whether the industry will grow by that much again this year is unknown, however, the many promising edtech startups in the UK will be looking to help carry the industry to new heights.

Here are five UK edtech startups to watch this school year:

Multiverse

Founded: 2016

Headquarters: London 

Funding: £358.5m

Founded by Euan Blair, son of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Multiverse has skyrocketed to one of the most valuable edtech startups in Europe, valued at $1.7bn. Multiverse was founded to help young people without degrees find apprenticeships, with a focus on developing ‘skills for the future’.

Multiverse had a £176m Series D funding round in June, which gave the company its unicorn status.

FutureLearn

Founded: 2012

Headquarters: London

Funding: £57.1m

FutureLearn is a digital learning platform owned by The Open University. It was founded in partnership with 12 universities, including Warwick, King’s College London, and Exeter.

FutureLearn provides online, university-level education in professional skills. Courses include business management, psychology, and leadership skills. Users can earn certificates for completing courses.

FundamentalVR

Founded: 2012

Headquarters: London

Funding: £26m

Utilising virtual reality technology, FundamentalVR is looking to educate the next generation of surgeons with realistic training simulations. Student surgeons looking to safely gain hands on experience in a controlled environment. The simulations also use haptic feedback for added realism.

FundamentalVR raised £16m in a funding round led by EQT Life Sciences in August.

Perlego

Founded: 2017

Headquarters: London

Funding: £56.2m

Self-described as the ‘Spotify for textbooks’, Perlego is a platform that provides university students with an online library of more than 800,000 textbooks in six languages. The company claims its business model simultaneously reduces the strain put on textbook companies by online piracy, and provides students with an affordable way to access educational resources.

Perlego raised £38m in a Series B funding round in March.

Atom Learning

Founded: 2018

Headquarters: London

Funding: £21.6m

An online learning platform, Atom Learning uses AI technology to adapt the learning materials to the ability of the students. An online alternative to private tuition, Atom Learning offers two separate services, Atom Prime for teachers and Atom Nucleus for parents.

Atom Learning raised £21.6m in a funding round led by SoftBank in December 2021.