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Investors back London tech startup hoping to revolutionise worldwide learning
Posted by Jamie Hardesty on 18 Apr 2017
Digital learning platform HowNow, which lets users learn anything from anywhere in the world over live interactive video, has secured £1.2m worth of investment from a number of private investors and investment fund Fuel.Ventures.
The London-based tech startup will use the capital to expand its marketplace of online experts and develop products for teachers and learners using its platform.
With the investment, the company will also be rolling out the augmented online learning technology they have been testing since the start of the year.
The business, which enables anyone with expertise to share and monetise their knowledge, says it aims to tap into the smart education-technology market that is expected to grow to £358bn by 2020.
How does it work?
From learning to play the guitar to speaking Spanish, learners can learn a range of subjects including many underserved niche topics directly with an expert from the comfort of their home, in either a one-to-one or group class.
In every class the teacher can see the learner, the learner can see the teacher and in the live group classes, the learners can see and interact with each other too in a virtual classroom.
Learners normally retain 30% of what they learn in class and HowNow stands out from other digital learning platforms by offering video replays of its live classes so leaners can rewatch and retain more.
Experts are able to automate scheduling, accept payments and teach over live video in-browser with HowNow’s own virtual classroom. HowNow also offers a booking widget that experts can add to their own website to convert their site into an online school.
HowNow, now has more than 400 experts teaching in 33 countries, with double-digit month-on-month growth and on average, experts earning £2000 per month through teaching part-time on the platform. There is no set-up cost, all that is required is a laptop, webcam and internet connection.
HowNow was founded by Nelson Sivalingam, a serial entrepreneur who also founded video tech company One Minute City and lifestyle subscription service, Wonderush.
HowNow is the natural digital evolution of Wonderush, where users previously would have to physically be at a class to experience it. Previous Wonderush investors included Fuel Ventures, started by MyVoucherCodes’ founder Mark Pearson, and tennis player Andy Murray.
Nelson said: "Through the right kind of education, I strongly believe every human being, no matter how impoverished or illiterate, can develop a new awareness of self.
“There are millions of people with expertise around the world that could be teaching but don’t because of lack resources and there are millions more who do not have access to high quality teaching just because of where they are based.
“In the Internet era, lack of resources and geography should not be barriers to teaching and learning.
“We started HowNow to change the way the world learns by enabling anyone with expertise to teach and by empowering people to learn from each other. With the investment we have raised, I’m confident that HowNow will be the go to platform very soon for anyone who wants to learn a new skill or teach what they love"