A Sheffield business that helps parents find private tutors has raised £150,000 after appealing to the public for funds.
Tutora.co.uk raised the cash through a crowdfunding appeal in just four days, reflecting the boom in home tutoring.
The website allows users to search for nearby tutors, select their favourite and book lessons. It was set up by Scott Woodley and Mark Hughes, both aged 30, last August.
Scott had the idea while working as a primary school teacher in Sheffield.
He said: “After becoming frustrated with teaching, I left to set up my own tutoring company, but received so many requests for tuition I couldn’t fit in any more students.”
Scott got in touch with childhood friend Mark Hughes, who was working in Edinburgh as a technology analyst, and they came up with idea for Tutora.
“Parents want tuition in their own home, they don’t want to be travelling and it doesn’t want to be another chore they have to fulfil during the week,” said Scott.
“We first expanded to Leeds, then Manchester and Liverpool. It’s been an amazing journey, as we now have tutors from Glasgow and Edinburgh, all the way down to Bristol, Bath and London.”
They decided to try crowdfunding to pay for expansion. The campaign was due to last a month, but hit the £150,000 target in just four days, as investors rushed to purchase shares in the company.
Mark said: “It’s something everyone can understand. A quarter of children in the UK have received tuition, and finding a great tutor is really tricky.
“We solve that problem for parents and students.”
The two say Sheffield’s tech community has been a great source of support.
“Sheffield has a fantastic tech community, with companies solving real, everyday problems.
“It’s something we should celebrate and hopefully a sector that can really flourish in the coming years.”
Education is also proving to be good business for supply agencies. In January, The Star reported that Sheffield-based PK Education was set to hit £10m turnover and hire six this year after moving to St James’ House in the city.