EdTech start-up keeps kids lessons free even after schools reopen

Covid-19 News | Education | Export | South East

Atom Learning will keep providing free, interactive online classes created during the Coronavirus lockdown as overseas and UK revenue increased by 25% each month between March and May.

Free subscriptions for Key Stage 2 maths, English and reasoning lessons peaked at 16,000, with international and UK paid subscriptions exceeding 250 and 1,600 respectively, as parents wanted access to additional features. This revenue will ensure that free online lessons can still be accessed even after schools reopen.

In 2018 the business founders, former Oxford University flatmates Alex Hatvany and Jake O’Keefe launched their first platform Atom Nucleus, a personalised AI integrated home learning site to prepare 7-11-year-olds worldwide for school entrance exams.

The London firm secured partnerships in Singapore and the United Arab Emirates in May following introductions made by the Department for International Trade. The deals are set to generate £500,000 and £400,000 respectively over the next five years.

Atom Learning Co-founder, Jake O’Keefe, said: “We want to empower parents to home school effectively for free during and after school closures, with the video lessons.

“Our unique, specialist Key Stage 2 adaptive learning platform determines the optimal study path for each child, keeping them engaged and motivated to learn.

“Expansion into Asia and the Middle East is key for us and our trade adviser at the Department for International Trade was great at helping us find client opportunities and overcome cultural barriers, which led to securing these partnerships.”

The deals were made before International Trade Secretary Liz Truss, launched the government’s Future Tech Trade Strategy during London Tech Week on 10 June, announcing the importance of growing the UK tech industry.

The UK wants to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which includes Singapore and collectively represented 13% of global GDP in 2018. This move will encourage seamless digital trade with the region.

Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific, Natalie Black, said: “Atom Learning is one of many UK EdTech businesses demonstrating tenacity and ingenuity to continually support primary education worldwide.

“It’s expansion into Singapore indicates the demand for innovative UK EdTech solutions in the Asia Pacific region that will continue long after the pandemic.”

The total estimated export value of the UK EdTech sector is £170m and according to the co-founder of London EdTech Week Benjamin Vedrenne-Cloquet, the sector is predicted to be worth £3.4bn by 2021, with around 1,000 businesses developing education solutions.

Minister for Exports Graham Stuart said: “The UK’s world-leading education companies continue to innovate and use technology to ensure quality education for children during the Coronavirus pandemic and beyond.

“I’m proud that DIT’s global network is able to help companies like Atom Learning grow at pace and take their solutions to more families with excellent educational results.”

Since launching in May last year, Atom Learning’s second platform, Atom Prime, a free teacher-focussed site, is used by more than 400 UK and international schools and includes a new virtual classroom.

Schools already using the technology include Eastfield Academy in the East Midlands, London’s Westminster Under School, the Tanglin Trust School in Singapore and Brighton College Dubai.

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