Investing in Up Learn: guaranteed A-levels for all

In a world where the majority of new jobs being created require high skill levels, education is increasingly important in our shared success. And as a parent of young children, I’ve experienced the appetite to invest in my children’s future first hand.

But tech’s impact on education has been more limited than you might expect.

Over the past few years, the use of AI and technologies like personalised learning have received a lot of attention (and VC funding) but adoption has been slow. Equally, many of these businesses have struggled to gain momentum due to long, careful sales cycles from the educational institutions.

Against this background, we’re delighted to reveal our investment in a company that we think will transform education by avoiding some of these pitfalls, and quickly bring better educational outcomes to the masses.

Meet Up Learn

Up Learn is a neuroscience-powered education platform that guarantees A-level success.

By using cognitive science to maximise learning, 97% of students who complete the course achieve an A or A* grade. And the team is so confident in that promise that they will guarantee success or your money back.

Providing the kind of educational impact offered by tutors at a fraction of the cost, Up Learn has the potential to solve a gap in the education system and bring better results to all.

It enters the £1-2bn UK tuition market currently enjoyed by well off families who pay for tutors, but brings the same advantages to a broader audience who may never have used these services before.

Up Learn combines three key things we look for in a company:

  • a great product solving a major pain point (A level grades determine the university a student can attend and can set the course of the rest of their life),
  • a huge market (global education spend has been estimated at $6.4tn)
  • a fantastic entrepreneur (Guy created his first business at the age of 13, exiting through a trade sale at the age of 20).

And because they sell a great product direct to students, the business can achieve exceptional unit economics, positioning them well for rapid growth.

We were very impressed by the strength of the Up Learn product and are very excited to support Guy in his vision of making quality education available to everyone.

You can read more about the news on The Times and tech.eu.

Luke joined Forward Partners from REV Venture Partners, a corporate VC, where he was responsible for deal origination, investment due diligence and portfolio reporting. He was previously a consultant with the strategy consultancy Oliver Wyman, where he worked across the retail, aviation, healthcare and FMCG sectors.

Luke originally planned a career in science and he holds a PhD in biochemistry. His focus at Forward Partners is on sourcing and executing new investments.

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