First investment

20 August 2014



Total investment




For over ten years CogBooks has been pioneering the use of adaptive learning technology, with a real focus on personalised learning for students. Highly rated in reports commissioned by the Gates Foundation, CogBooks’ approach supports teachers and ensures students learn at their own pace.

Impact Objective: Increase educational attainment for secondary and higher education students.

Having worked with educational institutions across the US, CogBooks is now expanding and bringing this new technology to organisations throughout the UK. Their approach focuses on an adaptive learning platform that intelligently personalises learning for each student in real time in order to improve learning outcomes and student retention. In the UK, they are already working with exam boards such as OCR, Edinburgh University and educational publishers to improve the way adaptive learning is used.

CogBooks CEO Jim Thompson says: “Throughout the world, we face the problem of how to make the highest quality education available to everyone. We believe that a new generation of learning technologies, of which CogBooks is an example, can help to solve this problem. We are working with our partners to bring these new technologies to teachers and help them to transform the way that learning is achieved.

“Our work with the Gates Foundation, Ufi Charitable Trust, the OCR, Edinburgh University and other leading schools and colleges will allow hundreds of thousands of students to benefit from advanced personalised on-line learning, delivered using the CogBooks adaptive platform.

“This new investment will allow us to continue to expand our company and provide improved learning experiences for more and more students.”

Jeff Haywood from Edinburgh University says CogBooks offers an exciting development in adaptive online learning for students and teachers: “We wish to provide our students with a unique and personalised learning experience. This is why we have been exploring Adaptive Learning, which has already gained prominence and traction within the US. Its ability to deliver an online learning experience where the student is able to supplement traditional teaching with online tutoring and real time feedback is very attractive to us.

“Over the coming academic year we will be piloting and researching the benefits of this sort of learning. Of the adaptive learning commercial suppliers in the market, CogBooks is one of the clear leaders.”

Matt Mead from Nesta Impact Investments says: “Educational technology has the potential to radically change education, especially in secondary schools where there are real opportunities to support learning in the classroom with online work. But that technology can’t be a one size fits all solution. We invested in CogBooks because of their unique approach to personalised web-based learning, which sees them put the student at the heart of their technology. By really understanding how young people learn and working with education providers to ensure content is relevant, CogBooks enables learners to get the most from their experience while also supporting teachers.”

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