73. HowNow

The digital learning platform enabling users from around the world to access lessons in everything from how to play guitar to speaking Swahili

Founders: Nelson Sivalingam
Founded: June 2015
Website: www.learnhownow.com

This is not Nelson Sivalingam’s first appearance in the Startups 100 having made his debut on the index in 2016 with lifestyle subscription service Wonderush. Now he returns to the prestigious ranking having pivoted Wonderush to become as digital learning platform HowNow.

The platform has developed its service – and still connects you to experts – but now relies more on video to connect you to tutors, teachers and specialists across the world.

HowNow’s proposition is a simple one; if you want to know or learn how to do something, you can do it now over video chat. Be it guitar, yoga, photography or Swahili lessons, learners can engage in one-on-one or group interactive video lessons with over 500 experts in 33 countries.

HowNow takes a commission fee on every booking, with teachers enabled to automate scheduling, receive bookings, take payments and convert their website into an online school with a special widget. Over 10,000 minutes of learning have already taken place on the platform; an incredible feat considering the logistics of accommodating users from different countries, time zones, currencies and languages.

Having closed £1.2m in funding just last month, the next year will see HowNow expand its network of experts and develop new products to make teaching and learning more effective. The platform is also set to go live with a smart augmented learning product very soon.

Sivalingam firmly believes that “overheads and geography should not be barriers to teaching and learning” in the internet era, and is on a mission to empower “everyone to learn anything from anywhere”. Startups Towers is off to try out beginners ukulele classes as we speak…

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