Tech Pitch: Quipper

The founder of the $10m-backed global e-learning platform explains why the education sector is gearing up for "massive change"

Company name: Quipper
Founder: Masayuki Watanabe (40)
Background: Co-founder of DeNA, one of the biggest social gaming companies in the world
Based in: Holborn, London

Very simply, what does your tech start-up do?

Quipper is a mobile e-learning platform. We offer a range of services including:

  • Quipper School, an e-learning service for teachers and students available in the UK, US and many European and Asian countries.
  • Quipper Training, an e-learning/corporate training service which is available in Japan.

Tell us why there’s a need – what do you disrupt?

With the advent of the internet, web connected devices and new types of digital learning content, the education sector is about to go through a massive change. As one of the leading e-learning companies, Quipper aims to disrupt the market by providing services for:

i)  learning content creation

ii)  assignment/assessment

iii)  learning

With these three elements, talented and passionate teachers can create their own lessons and share with others. Teachers can also access the lessons and assign them to their students, and students can learn with the highest quality content. We have accumulated a lot of know-how on ‘adaptive learning’ and ‘gamification’ through our massive data driven approach.

Are you funded?

Yes, we have raised a total of over $10m from London-based Atomico, Silicon Valley-based 500 Startups, Japan-based Globis Capital Partners and Benesse.

What were you doing before starting?

I love to travel, and I’ve visited many refugee camps where I saw how lucky I was to be able to access great education without any problems. These experiences nurtured a sense of responsibility to create great education services to reduce the education gap across the world.

In my career (I used to be a McKinsey consultant and was also in charge of many businesses at DeNA) I have become a maniac for new business models and opportunities. I hope I can bring my passion and experience together to make Quipper a great company.

What the best thing about where you’re based?

  • English speaking talents: Our goal is to build a global education platform, and being able to tap into English speaking talents is a big plus.
  • Centre of education: The UK has given birth to Oxford and Cambridge University and is also home to Pearson, the biggest education company in the world. UK education has influenced the rest of the world.
  • Good start up ecosystem: There are regular start-up events which we can learn a lot from.
  • London gives us lots of advantages but we have also tapped into a global talent pool through Elance.com – we need both specific content and localised customer support for our different geographic markets and we have been able to achieve this through hiring online.

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