People’s Champion finalist 2017: Tutorful
This Sheffield start-up connects families across the UK with top private tutors – but does it have the grades to be your People’s Champion 2017?
Start-up name: Tutorful
Founders: Scott Gladwood and Mark Hughes
Started in: August 2015
Based in: Sheffield
Business description: A tuition marketplace helping you to find experienced vetted tutors near you.
The Tutorful story:
Business inspiration comes in many forms and for ex-primary school teacher Scott Gladwood, his idea for Tutorful (recently re-branded from Tutora) was stirred up by a desire to bring transparency to finding a tutor.
Frequently asked by parents to recommend high quality private tutors to help their children improve at school, Gladwood became frustrated at how difficult it was to refer them to somebody reliable and felt that there needed to be a solution.
After consulting with friend Mark Hughes, a technology analyst, the duo decided to act and come up with an answer… Tutorful was born.
Two years from launch and Tutorful has developed into a two-sided tutoring marketplace with more than 8,500 active tutors, delivering over 5,000 lessons to UK students – ranging from primary school children to degree-level – every week.
The platform works by enabling parents and users to browse and review profiles of top-quality tutors based on subject area, subject level and proximity to their postcode.
Once they’ve identified their perfect tutor, parents can privately message tutors via the platform and book lessons on a one-off or recurring basis with all payments handled securely online.
Supported by a team of 15 staff, the Yorkshire start-up has seen growth propel to a rate of 700% monthly which was helped, in part, by raising its second investment round via crowdfunding platform Crowdcube in March of this year.
The Startups 100-listed company doubled its initial target of £350,000 overfunding by 200% to the tune of £700,000 in exchange for 14.42% equity, with backing from over 500 investors.
With a goal to help as many learners as possible, the tutoring marketplace has also expanded its offering to content and new initiatives. This includes creating ‘Learning Guides’ on important topics for parents, students and teachers and launching a new ‘Get Kids Out Learning’ campaign to keep children engaged over the summer holidays.
Why Tutorful made our shortlist:
Unlocking education for people of all ages, Tutorful has created a new avenue for tutors to conduct business and for students to learn and improve – be it to learn to read or finish a dissertation on physics.
Since closing its crowdfunding round in March, the start-up has grown from four employees to 15; impressive growth for an early-stage company, and we’re inspired by its ambitions to become the UK’s largest tuition company within the next 12 months.