Sumdog raises £1.4 million to improve student attainment levels and education equality



18 September 2017

Education technology company Sumdog, an adaptive learning service that uses ‘gamified learning’ to improve students’ results in Maths and English, announced that it has raised £1.4 million with the help of ClearlySo, Europe’s leading impact investment bank. Sumdog will use this round of capital to catalyse growth in the UK and its US market expansion, where it is already used in 22% of elementary schools.

Enjoyment of learning is the core to every game on Sumdog. Its adaptive learning engine ensures that each student is challenged without being discouraged. Using game design and game elements, and a sophisticated online multiplayer gaming function, Sumdog motivates and engages users to learn. Its unique algorithms adapt to each individual user’s needs to decide which question to deliver next, and through a partnership with global education NGO Khan Academy, Sumdog provides targeted educational videos for areas of difficulty.

Sumdog improves student attainment levels, especially those from disadvantaged/low income backgrounds. The recent Glasgow City Effectiveness Study demonstrated that Sumdog improves a child’s rate of learning by a factor of three.

The investment round included Nesta Impact Investments’ £17.6m fund that invests in life-changing innovations that help tackle the major challenges faced by older people, children and communities in the UK. They invest in outstanding entrepreneurs to create real and lasting social impact alongside financial return.

Andrew Hall, CEO of Sumdog said: “This is a really exciting time for Sumdog as we seek to expand our team to include the specialist skills we will need to achieve our future ambitions. As a high-impact company, our core mission is to close the educational attainment gap by helping all children reach their full potential. By capturing children’s imagination, Sumdog wants to become a world leader in online learning, starting with maths and English but ultimately covering a much broader range of subjects. This £1.4 million investment will make a crucial contribution as we strive to meet our objective of helping 15 million children across the UK and the US over the next five years.”

Jon Wright, Investment Manager at ClearlySo, added: “It was important to Sumdog that they collaborated with investors who would support their impactful mission alongside their scalable business model and we were delighted to introduce them to their ideal partner, Nesta Impact Investments.  Impact investment continues to grow in popularity and the investment community are beginning to recognise that impact and return on investment can be positively correlated.  Sumdog is an excellent example of a business doing exactly that and we wish them every success in the future.”

Further commenting, Ishaan Chilkoti, at Nesta Impact Investments, said: “We were impressed by the quality and dedication of the team at Sumdog. Andrew and his colleagues are truly committed to creating a global education company that helps students from all backgrounds achieve better educational outcomes. ClearlySo introduced us to the company and were instrumental in ensuring this investment process ran smoothly; it was a pleasure working with Jon and the team.”

Notes to the Editors

About Sumdog:

Sumdog is a high-impact company with headquarters in Edinburgh. Set up in 1994, Sumdog has developed an online learning system specifically designed to improve skills and attainment in maths and literacy and aligned to the Curriculum for Excellence. The Sumdog website is now used by 2.8 million children in 88 countries worldwide. Further information about Sumdog is available at

About ClearlySo:

ClearlySo is Europe’s leading impact investment bank, working exclusively with businesses and funds delivering positive social, ethical, and/or environmental impact as well as financial return.

Originally founded in 2008, ClearlySo has helped more than 100 clients raise more than £149 million in impact investment from its extensive network of high-net-worth individual and institutional investors.

In addition, ClearlySo ATLAS helps investors assess the social and environmental impact of their venture capital and private equity investments and guides them towards choosing sustainable businesses that deliver long term benefit to people, planet and the bottom line.

ClearlySo is headquartered in London.

 Further Information

Lynsey Ross
T: 0131 603 8996

 John Lloyd
ClearlySo Chief Marketing Officer
T: 0207 490 9529

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