Scottish edtech company Estendio grabs £450K to put an end to stage fright for disabled students


In 2014, Chris was a dyslexic student at the University of Strathclyde. As a result, he experienced the challenge of giving presentations to his peers, which is a part of their university course. 

Chris consulted with the university’s disability service and dyslexia experts and realised that there was no direct or accessible solution for presentation anxiety.

£450K funding

Based out of Glasgow, Estendio’s mission is to cultivate human potential through accessible technologies. The company has recently secured £450K funding in the form of a long-term Convertible Loan Note from key partners, including Scottish Enterprise and a handful of heavyweight private investors.

Estendio says it has supported an additional 3,000 new students across the UK this year alone. 

How will the funding be used?

The funding will support the company’s entry into the North American higher education and school markets and expand their reach to support more students with disabilities via their innovative presentation support app – Present Pal.

What is Present Pal?

Present Pal is a communication tool that works like a set of interactive flashcards providing you with a new, improved, and more accessible way to create your presentation notes. Present Pal is now being used to support students in over 100 UK universities through the Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA). 

The edtech company was founded with an initial investment of £50K in 2015, before going on to turn profits over the last two financial years. 

The company has seen revenue triple and the team expanded from 4 to 17 members during a pandemic. The company is looking to create 15 further roles in marketing, software development, and sales within Scotland this year, doubling its headcount again to over 30 employees.

Former Fanduel Chairman and Estendio Chairman Owen O’Donnell commented on the investment and the impact that this will have on the company’s future growth.

“This funding round is a major milestone for Estendio. Chris and the team have worked exceptionally hard to create an already profitable business in the UK and this investment will allow Estendio to deliver on its international ambitions, as well as reach more students within the UK education system .”

Chris Hughes, Founder, and CEO commented on the investment: “I am hugely proud to secure this funding. The drive and determination of my board and leadership team over the last year have been monumental in what has been a hugely successful year. I am incredibly grateful to Scottish Enterprise and our consortium of private investors for the opportunity to continue on to the next chapter of the journey of scaling into international markets and becoming a game-changer in the accessibility market.”

Jan Robertson, interim Director of Growth Investments at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Estendio has the potential to be Scotland’s next big digital success story. By building on previous advisory and financial support with fresh investment, we are supporting the company’s ambitions to develop its products, create jobs, and expand internationally. In turn, this can encourage the continued growth of Scotland’s thriving tech sector and have a positive bearing on the country’s economic recovery.”

Alongside success in the education market, the company was announced as Microsoft’s first-ever European AI for Accessibility grantee in 2018. More recently the company received ‘Highly Commended’ for the Present Pal App at the Tech4Good Accessibility Awards.