Tech Pitch: RefME

A bugbear of university students worldwide, we find out more about the platform which makes referencing "simple and accessible"...

Company name: RefME
Founder: Tom Hatton (24)
Background: Hatton previously ran a digital agency
Based in: Shoreditch, London

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

  • is a brand new technology that is ‘taking the search’ out of research. It crowd sources information to make the whole process of referencing work fully automated, quick and easy.
  • You can use your mobile or laptop to reference quickly and it’s completely free. The software enables you to reference showing the whole research journey, pinpointing where people found answers, from the page in a book to what section of a website.
  • By mapping citation data, RefME are building tools that will recommend research content based on what you are citing.
  • It is building powerful search tools that will ultimately provide much more targeted search results.
  • RefME has grown to over 350,000 users, adding as many as 30,000 new users per day.

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

The $151bn publishing market is ready for disruption. Resources are going digital and no longer bound to a textbook with teaching becoming a ‘mastery of concepts’ ahead of completing textbooks. Online resources though are hard to find, validate and reference.

Referencing your work is time consuming, costs valuable marks if done incorrectly and is a pain for over 150 million students worldwide – RefME eliminates all this.

RefME’s technology is the world’s first cloud based, multi-platform, automated referencing tool with +7,500 academic styles for over 35 referencing sources. There is no other product like it in the world. It makes referencing simple, accessible and brings it into the 21st century.

Are you funded?

We are in the final stages of completing a very exciting funding deal. We will be able to say more in January 2015 so watch this space!

What were you doing before starting?

I was nearly a failing rock star! I used to be in a band and that was all I wanted to do. I didn’t want to go to university and we even had meetings with huge record labels. As tends to happen, the band fell apart and I was devastated.

I went onto study at Oxford Brookes while also having a few other businesses and projects on the sides. Once I graduated I knew that referencing was one of the biggest pains for students and I wanted to fix this. I set about finding an easy solution in the market and couldn’t – RefME was born!

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What’s the best thing about where you’re based?

We are at the heart of the technology scene in Shoreditch. There is a brilliant buzz around the networking opportunities are rife. London & Partners just released new quarterly figures that show technology firms in the capital have attracted more than $1bn of investment in 2014, almost 30 % more than the previous full year. RefME is one of these firms. We’re proud to be British!


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