Top 10 Edtech Companies in the UK
Sarah Cheesman, 19 October 2023
The field of education technology (edtech) is rapidly emerging as a prominent sector in the UK. Recent research projects a global edtech market worth $404b by 2025. This is driven by both international and domestic organisations striving to promote the use of edtech in schools, particularly to address educational disparities. With teachers and families alike encouraging learning experiences that prepare students for a more digital future, new and innovative educational technologies are driving change in the sector.
The ascent of edtech can be largely attributed to the impact of the pandemic. COVID-19 restrictions escalated the demand for advanced home and online learning tools. Remarkably, the edtech sector’s growth has persisted even as lockdown measures eased, exemplified by Multiverse—the UK’s first-ever edtech unicorn in June 2022. Additionally, the UK Department for Education has initiated a study exploring the value and potential of edtech in English classrooms.
Want to find out more about the edtech industry and the companies that are evolving the tech landscape? In this article, we’re taking a look at the top 10 edtech companies in the UK.
What is edtech?
Before exploring the UK’s top edtech companies, it’s worth discussing what we mean by edtech, as the term encompasses a wide range of products and services. Edtech refers to the use of technology in education, in both the public and private education sectors, as well as continuing professional development (CPD) and lifelong learning. It supports digital and blended learning styles, and can involve both online platforms and extended reality (XR).
Popularised by the demands of the pandemic, distance learning (or digital/online learning) involves individuals studying and learning from home. Distance learning companies are linked by a focus on developing technologies that mitigate the challenges of not having face-to-face teaching and learning.
Distance learning technologies can take several different forms: physical (such as build-you-own kits), audio-based or video-based learning (e.g. podcasts and online classes), or computer-based (like collaborative learning workspaces).
Blended learning (or hybrid learning) is a style of education that combines digital media and technology with conventional instructor-led classroom activities. It gives students more freedom to tailor their learning experiences. Blended learning companies produce edtech products that accompany and enhance classroom-based learning.
Blended learning technologies can be broken down into four key types:
Online learning platforms
Online learning (or e-learning) is a subset of distance learning where individuals learn over the internet. Companies that create online learning platforms develop web spaces or portals for educational content. These provide students with all the information they need in one place, including lectures, resources, and opportunities to interact with fellow students.
Augmented reality and virtual reality
Virtual reality (VR) is an immersive technology that places the user in a virtual environment, where they can move around, communicate and learn. VR edtech can be used in classrooms for virtual field trips, science experiments and immersive simulations.
Augmented reality (AR) allows users to interact with virtual objects that appear in their real-world environment. AR can also be applied to edtech—for instance, students might use digital overlays to follow instructions for difficult tasks, like learning how to fix a complicated machine or performing a medical procedure.
Who are the UK’s top edtech companies?
Currently, 404 edtech companies in the UK have hit one or more of our high-growth tracking signals. These ambitious businesses span a wide range of technologies and services, from ebook subscriptions to DIY computer kits.
Below, we’ve compiled a ranking of the top 10 edtech companies in the UK, based on the amount of equity investment they’ve received to date. All of these private companies are headquartered in the UK, and have received sizable investments from venture capital firms and other top players in the high-growth ecosystem.
Date founded: 2015
MEL Science creates chemistry kits that are designed to teach science to children in an engaging and immersive way. They’re available on a subscription basis, and, in addition to offering VR-mode studies through a mobile app, the kits come with chemical reagents and visual step-by-step instructions to demonstrate science.
The company has raised £22.8m in equity investment so far, across five funding rounds. The most recent of these was a £3.81m round for a 6.2% stake, raised through a group of undisclosed investors. Their post-money valuation was listed as £61.4m. MEL Science’s products have won numerous awards already, including BETT Innovator of the Year 2020, and EdTech Digest’s Cool Tool Award (for Best VR/AR Solution). It was also named in the BusinessCloud Edtech 50 high-growth list for 2022.
Date founded: 2015
Unibuddy develops edtech software tools for university websites, including software that allows prospective students to communicate with student ambassadors online. The company’s platform enables universities to recruit their best-fit students, and helps students find appropriate universities by sharing their experiences with each other.
The software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider has raised £23.2m in equity investment so far, across four funding rounds. Its most recent equity round saw the company gain an impressive £14.2 from Highland Europe and Stride.VC. Unibuddy plans to put this capital towards company growth, aiming to reach 10m students by 2025.
Date founded: 2008
Fuse has developed edtech software that allows employees to share knowledge in their workplace. The company’s platform combines design tools, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to enable learning from top employees. Fuse also assists companies in the creation of internal instructional videos.
Since its founding in 2008, Fuse has raised £25.4m in equity investment, across seven funding rounds. Its latest raise was completed in July 2023, through undisclosed investors. This £1.37m investment was in exchange for a 0.1% stake in the business. They also received £2.11m for the same percentage stake in October 2022.
Date founded: 2017
Administrate has developed business management software for clients that operate business training services. With the help of the company’s platform, training providers can manage and automate the entire learning process, from a single location.
Founded in Edinburgh in 2007, Administrate has secured 15 funding rounds so far, raising a total of £26.4m in equity and loan investment. Plus, the edtech software provider received £656k in R&D grant funding in 2017, as part of the Scottish Enterprises Enterprise & Integration Transformation programme. Also, in 2017, Administrate attended the Upscale accelerator.
Date founded: 2013
MyTutor provides an online learning platform for students wishing to find tutors for online lessons. The company’s platform links schoolchildren and students from top universities to online tutorials, live video chats, interactive whiteboards, and collaborative tools like simultaneous document viewing.
Since its incorporation in 2013, MyTutor has raised £28.8m in equity funding, across seven rounds. Its most recent raise was a £15.2m investment from British fund Mobeus and Australian fund SEEK, back in September 2021. Following this deal, MyTutor acquired fellow edtech Fire Tech Camp, in December 2021. MyTutor bought Fire Tech Camp for its coding and tech training platform, which it has since added to its learning portfolio.
Date founded: 2013
Kortext operates an online learning platform that gives students access to digital textbooks. With the help of various tools, and online and offline access to important textbooks from different publishers, the company’s edtech platform offers an affordable and quick learning tool for users.
The Bournemouth-based company has raised £35.9m in equity and loan investment since incorporating in 2013, across seven funding rounds. Its last round was completed in June 2023, and saw Kortext take a loan investment with the aim of investing further into artificial intelligence technologies. Their most recent equity fundraising round was completed in July 2021, receiving £15m from QVentures and DMG Ventures, alongside other undisclosed investors. Kortext announced that it would use this investment to accelerate the delivery of its product roadmap, in partnership with its university customers.
Date founded: 2014
Pi-Top develops a programmable computer system designed to teach teens STEM subjects, such as coding and robotics. Users can create their own laptops in learning environments where they can experiment, code, and build electronics. This enables students to combine project-based learning and physical computing with computer science, ICT, and STEM education.
The Southwark-based edtech company was founded in 2014, initially receiving £193k in grant funding from US crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. Pi-Top then went on to raise £41.7m in equity funding, across 13 rounds. Its most recent raise was a £473k investment, in December 2022, from a group of angel investors. Their post-money valuation was listed as £11.3m.
Date founded: 2014
BibliU offers an edtech subscription service that provides students with access to academic textbooks online. The company’s platform enables students to learn effectively by providing immediate access to course content with a discovery search tool, offline support, analytics, and synchronised highlights and comments for accelerated learning.
Founded in 2014, the Islington-based textbook provider has raised £42.1m in equity funding so far, across 12 rounds. They secured an impressive four fundraisings during 2022, and another one in 2023. The most recent fundraising was for £2.82m, completed in August of this year. BibliU has attended two accelerator programmes: the Mayor’s International Business Programme and Emerge Education.
Date founded: 2016
Perlego operates an ebook subscription service for textbooks, via its app-based e-reader. Its online collection of learning resources and tools aims to offer textbook services to learners all over the world. Students can get unlimited access to reading materials at a low cost, thanks to the company’s platform, which offers academic and professional e-books for a monthly subscription fee.
Founded in 2016, the Camden-based company has raised £55.6m in equity fundraising so far, across six rounds. Its most recent investment was completed in March 2022, worth £24.4m in exchange for a 19.6% stake in the business. Their post-money valuation was listed as £124m. Perlego has also graduated from the Upscale accelerator programme, and featured in the latest BusinessCloud Edtech Top 50 high-growth list.
Date founded: 2016
Our top edtech company for 2023 is also a member of the UK unicorn club, Multiverse. The London-based startup was founded by Euan Blair (son of former PM Tony Blair) and operates an online recruitment board that uses AI technology to link non-graduate apprentices with employers. Apprentices are offered tuition-based training with a specific focus on tech-based roles that require digital skills, like software engineering, digital marketing, and data analysis. The company states that around 50% of its apprenticeship candidates are from underrepresented minority backgrounds.
Multiverse has raised a total of £319m worth of equity investment since its founding in 2016, across five funding rounds. It has also appeared in the Deloitte Fast 50 and Startups 100 high-growth lists, and attended Tech Nation’s Upscale accelerator programme. Having raised £175m in its latest fundraising, in June 2022, the company reached unicorn status with a valuation of $1.70b. The company also acquired Eduflow, the provider of a collaborative learning platform aimed at facilitating social learning experiences.
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