LearnCoach closes $1.5m seed round
18 December 2018
Wellington-based education social enterprise LearnCoach has closed a $1.5m seed round to help scale up its online education platform.
LearnCoach creates video tutorials to teach NCEA subjects for students who can’t be in a physical classroom, or for those who want to extend beyond their classroom learning.
Around 150,000 students throughout New Zealand view the lessons more than a million times, every year.
“Right now, students are telling us they want lots more courses than LearnCoach has been able to make,” co-founder and 2018 Young New Zealander of the Year David Cameron says.
“It’s a good problem to have but we need to quickly ramp up the amount of online lessons we offer and that’s what our seed round money will allow us to do.
“We’ve just employed 30 full time teachers and tutors to create video lessons over the summer, in time for the start of the 2019 school year.”
Investors in the seed round include: rich-lister Danny Chan who co-founded NZ’s largest education company, ACG; Andrew Preston, founder of Publons, the world’s largest academic peer review platform; and Eden Ventures, who led the round and wants to take the low-cost school system to Asia.
Cameron founded LearnCoach with wife, Deborah Lambie, and brother, Mark Cameron, in 2012.
He was a teacher at the time and initially wanted a way to be able to give more support to his students than the time and resource constraints of the job allowed him.
Cameron’s own story with education is a love-hate one. He received 141 detentions in his first two years at high school and was disengaged until he took his learning into his own hands.
A core philosophy for LearnCoach is to make education more engaging and accessible for all students.
This year, the company began offering students the ability to gain NCEA credits online through LearnCoach, thanks to its partnership with NZQA-approved The Learning Place.
Cameron says this will allow for “digital schools” in underserved locations or communities, such as refugee camps.
“This seed money will help us scale faster and reach more students with more relevant tutorials to help them succeed.”
“We’re thankful for the show of faith from investors and excited about how much positive impact that money will ultimately create in the lives of thousands of New Zealand school children.”