Tutoring Startup Scoodle Gets Biz Stone and Oxford University Backing
In 2019 the number of new startups created in the UK alone rose by 5.7% to over 660,000. There is fierce competition for backing and investment and its often the quality of the backers that determines the future success of the business. One such startup, tutoring platform Scoodle, has gained the support of both Twitter co-inventor Biz Stone and become the first ed tech company to be adopted by Oxford University’s startup accelerator, Oxford Foundry.
Scoodle says it helps tutors become influencers. TechCrunch describes the startup as “Quora-meets-tutoring.” Using the platform, students post questions for tutors to answer. This gives tutors the opportunity to get themselves known, excel their reputations, and gain more tutoring work.
Registered tutors have their own profiles which they build and can use to promote learning resources to show off their skills. They can also take tutor bookings on the platform but so far Scoodle isn’t charging a booking fee. Tutors do however subscribe, paying £10 per month for better listings which the platform says gains these teachers more than 30 times more leads. Students can post questions for free, but a premium membership allows for asking direct questions to certain tutors.
Former Google employee, Scoodle co-founder and CEO Ismail Jeilani told TechCrunch:
“Our tutors share content like learning resources on their profiles, which parents get to view before booking a lesson. Through this approach, tutors begin to develop their own brands, like ‘an educator’s LinkedIn.”Scoodle co-founder and CEO Ismail Jeilani
This helps parents to select tutors, by being better informed about the tutor’s skills and reputation. Scoodle says since its launch in 2018 it has gained 100,000 mobile and website users. Jeilani adds:
“It’s very common that a student discovers Scoodle on the back of a Google search, when they view an answer, they also see other answers from that tutor, along with how many students they’ve helped. This helps create trust.”Scoodle co-founder and CEO Ismail Jeilani
Scoodle has reportedly now gained pre-seed funding of $760,000 from backers including Biz Stone, Tiny VC, IFG Ventures, and other angel investors. The company says its platform boasts tutors from some of the best colleges and universities in the UK, including the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge.
Though there are other tutoring startups and platforms in the UK, CEO Jeilani says its content driven approach, creating tutor branding, is its differentiator in the market.
Biz Stone, born Christopher Isaac Stone, holds the patent for inventing Twitter alongside Jack Dorsey. Stone left Twitter but returned in an undisclosed role in 2017. He’s a known angel investor and has backed companies such as Square, Slack, Medium, Nest, Beyond Meat and Pinterest. He also co-founded new search engine Jelly in 2014 which was acquired by Pinterest in 2017. Stone’s backing may reveal Scoodle has the potential to grow from one startup amongst many to a high-traffic, successful, content driven platform. After all, look at the success of Twitter.