RefME takes total investment to $5m to continue to grow faster than Twitter

Citation tool founded by 24 year-old Tom Hatton has secured an additional $4m seed finance from education company GEMS Education

Referencing app RefME, founded by 2015 young entrepreneur to watch Tom Hatton, has closed $4m investment from private education company GEMS Education taking its total seed funding to $5m.

Launched in 2014 by 24 year-old Hatton, RefME is a citation, reference and bibliograpy tool which fully automates the process of referencing by enabling the user to scan a book barcode using their smartphone which then creates a reference “in seconds”.

With referencing often said to be a major bug-bear for university students, the app has grown rapidly in recent months and has attracted over 800,000 users with 10,000 app downloads each day – growing quicker than Twitter and Pinterest in its first year of trading.

The London start-up intends to use the investment from GEMS; which has former US president Bill Clinton as honorary chairman, to open a US office later this year and it will also fund recruitment of engineering and data staff to expand its current team of 36 employees.

Discussing the app’s success to date, RefME’s Hatton commented:

“We set out to create a world-class tool that automates a time-consuming, but important problem 150 million students face globally. We’ve even been accused of making students’ work too easy given they now don’t have to spend hours making sure their citations and references are completely accurate.

“The evolution of technology is an inspiration and it is absurd not to embrace new innovation and use it to really improve and aid students in their development.”

Sunny Varkey, GEMS Education founder and group chairman, commented:“RefME has huge potential to disrupt education, publishing and ultimately search as well.

“RefME has built a tool that helps validate information and ultimately show where you’ve found knowledge. This is as important to education as it is to the web itself and that is very compelling”.

Find out more about RefME in our Tech Pitch interview.  

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