E-learning outfit CogBooks nets £1.25m to fuel growth

CogBooks, the Edinburgh-based online learning specialist, is looking to accelerate its growth in the UK and US after raising £1.25 million.

CogBooks said its adaptive technology can help reduce drop-out rates among students. Picture: Corbis

The cash injection was secured from existing investors DC Thomson, Nesta Impact Investments and the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB), the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise.

CogBooks has developed “adaptive” technology that tailors online learning programmes to students’ individual needs. It said its system has helped Arizona State University deliver a 24 per cent increase in student success and 90 per cent reduction in drop-out rates.

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Chief executive Jim Thompson said: “This investment allows us to accelerate the distribution of our courseware and platform in the UK and US at a key stage in the market’s development. The results of our deployments in higher education have been very positive and we are delighted that our products are making a real difference to both students and instructors.”

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Kerry Sharp, head of the SIB, added: “CogBooks is a great example of an innovative Scottish company with global reach, with exciting technology that has the potential to drive change in the learning experience. We look forward to continuing to provide CogBooks with access to wider assistance from Scottish Enterprise to help deliver its goals.”

CogBooks, based at Edinburgh’s CodeBase incubator, is chaired by technology entrepreneur Ian Ritchie and has also received a $2m (£1.4m) grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop courseware for US colleges.

Nathan Elstub, chief investment officer at Nesta Investment Management, a £17.6m social investment fund, said: “By providing high-quality content in an accessible format that is customised to individual needs, CogBooks is delivering a transformational technology that has the potential to contribute to a deep change in way that we teach and learn, helping both students and teachers make the most of the resources available to them.”