Matr raises £4.75 million for AI teaching platform
Matr, the online teaching platform, has announced it has closed a £4.75 million Series A investment round led by the UCL Technology Fund and Downing Ventures, with follow on investment from Ananda and innovation charity Nesta, and Sherry Coutu joining as an angel investor. The company has now raised £8.25 million in funding.
Following an initial focus on providing online teaching to support children in UK schools, via the company’s Third Space Learning brand, the new investment will be focused on developing the Matr platform to support families at home, catering to a global teaching and student base.
The UCL Technology Fund is managed by Albion in collaboration with UCL Business and is dedicated to bringing UCL’s world-class research in life and physical sciences to commercial reality. Matr is the fifth AI business the fund has invested in to date.
Matr, founded by Tom Hooper in 2013, is an online teaching company which uses technology to train academic talent from around the world to deliver live, online tuition, making effective one-to-one learning affordable and accessible to all. The platform has already delivered over 500,000 one-to-one sessions to nearly 40,000 children across the UK from tutors based in India and Sri Lanka.
In addition to the current round of funding, Matr has also announced a research and qualification partnership with UCL. Working with Rose Luckin, Professor of Learner Centred Design at UCL and an expert in AI in education, Matr is using its database of over 500,000 recordings of online teaching sessions to develop AI software to automate the training and development of a global community of online teachers. Using this innovation, UCL is aiming to develop a qualification, powered by analytics in the Matr platform, to establish a global standard in online teaching.
Professor Luckin, who believes AI provides a unique opportunity to assess which teaching strategies are working and to individualise teaching, says: “What we are very interested in is using the right blend of human and artificial intelligence in the online classroom to identify the sweet spot where AI can augment the abilities of an online human teacher.”
David Grimm, Manager of the UCL Technology Fund at Albion, says: “Matr has the potential, in collaboration with UCL, to set the standard for online teaching and achieve traction in global tutoring markets. Its plans to build an efficient AI system and use it to certify its teachers with a UCL qualification will set it apart in this unregulated market. This is an excellent opportunity to invest in a strong team, with a proven and clearly differentiated business model.”
Tom Hooper, Founder and CEO, Matr, says: “For the last four years we’ve worked really hard to demonstrate our global ambitions, delivering hundreds of thousands of hours of teaching from our global teaching community to tens of thousands of children. By partnering with new investors, and some of the world’s leading Learning Scientists at UCL, we are well positioned to accelerate our vision of creating a global community of online teachers and students, making effective one-to-one learning accessible to all.”
Richard Lewis, Investment Director, Downing Ventures, says: “We are delighted to join the Albion UCL Technology Fund, Ananda Ventures and Nesta in this funding round. Matr has grown into the leading provider of online maths intervention programmes for Key Stage 2 pupils and we look forward to supporting the team as they expand their business further.”
Visit the Matr website for more information.