Estendio, a multi-award-winning Scottish EdTech startup, has raised over $635k (£450,000) to help disabled students overcome their communication challenges and presentation anxiety.
The Glasgow-based startup received the funding, which is in the form of a long-term convertible loan note, from Scottish Enterprise and a handful of heavyweight private investors.
It plans to use the investment to expand its reach and support more students with disabilities via its presentation support app, Present Pal.
Estendio was founded in 2015 by Chris Hughes with a mission to unlock potential through inclusive technology for all. The company’s flagship product, Present Pal, was launched in 2018 as a solution to a real-life challenge – communication and presentation anxiety – faced by the founder as a dyslexic university student. It works like a set of interactive flashcards that support users providing them with a new, improved, and more accessible way to create their presentation notes.
The Present Pal app is currently supporting over 5,000 students with disabilities in over 100 colleges and universities across the UK, enabling them to deliver a more confident and prepared presentation.
Explaining his real-life experience and how he came up with the solution for himself, Chris Hughes, Founder & CEO of Estendio, said,
“I had to give presentations two or three times a week as part of my degree. I was getting so frustrated spending hours preparing every week only to forget key information during my presentation. After reaching out to my disability services, I was told this was a common challenge for disabled students and I was offered the chance to present directly to my lecturer or to skip the presentation altogether.
“After working so hard to get into university, skipping this key skill wasn’t an option for me, so I made a solution for myself. I’m incredibly proud that today this tool now supports thousands of presenters in gaining the same experiences and opportunities as their peers.”
According to Estendio, nearly all (93%) of university students need to present as part of their university course. However, this disproportionately impacts the 300,000 UK students with disabilities, with 86% admitting that they struggle with presenting, it said.
Commenting on the investment and how it will help the company, Chris said,
“I am hugely proud to secure this funding. The drive and determination of my board and leadership team over the last year has been monumental in what has been a hugely successful year. I am incredibly grateful to Scottish Enterprise and our consortium of private investors for the opportunity to continue on to the next chapter of the journey of scaling into international markets and becoming a game changer in the accessibility market.”
Estendio said it has seen its revenue triple and the team expand from four to 17 members during the pandemic. The company has turned profits over the last two financial years.