Our belief in the power of adaptive learning might well be a lofty, ambitious goal, but it’s one that is fast becoming a reality. Today we’re thrilled to announce $20 million in Series A funding, putting our total investment at $31 million to date.
This raise is a substantial vote of confidence in our vision for the future of school education. It also verifies what market research has told us: in Australia, more students and their parents are seeking tutoring support for improved academic performance and increased confidence.
Above all else, parents and students are looking for quality learning at a time when state education budgets are increasingly political, resulting in higher than average class sizes and under-resourced schools across the country.
We match students with expert private tutors who conduct sessions using an online platform. Features like video and audio, a virtual whiteboard and digital content mean that we can truly personalise the learning experience for each child, aligning with what they’re studying at school and immediately responding to their individual learning needs.
“My experience as a head of department and school administrator is that timetables and curricula are packed, with teachers expected to take on more and more administrative and management tasks, leaving them with less time to work one-on-one with their students,” says Cluey Chief Learning Officer Dr Selina Samuels.
“Children are restricted geographically to the schools and the facilities they can access. And although everyone talks about integrating technology, there’s a widespread concern (amongst teachers as much as parents) that the tools deployed in many classrooms are a form of babysitting, rather than an opportunity to really use technology to learn.”
The vision behind Cluey
When Mark Rohald founded Cluey in 2018, he took the traditional learning format and sought to build on it with cutting edge technology, quality lesson content created by leaders in teaching and curriculum planning, and expert tutors from around Australia (because an online approach naturally breaks down time and location barriers).
An entrepreneur with a passion for technology and learning, Mark has a solid track record of building education businesses across four continents.
“The school classroom concept is over 100 years old – it’s a factory model,” says Rohald, who also acts as the company’s chief executive. “It’s very hard for one teacher to tailor learning to every child’s specific needs, prior knowledge, and interests. Cluey enhances and complements school-based learning – we partner with parents and students to support each individual child’s learning journey.”
The power of technology
Analytics form a large part of our ability to offer personalised learning and quickly respond when a particular approach isn’t working for individual students.
“Every morning, I review sessions from the previous day with our education faculty, including feedback from students and tutors,” says Samuels. “Our analytics provide a “lesson map” that tells us exactly what content was covered in every lesson, how far each student has progressed through their tutoring program, the pace of learning, and levels of mastery. Our review may also involve watching the lessons (all of which are recorded) to provide feedback for tutors, guidance to parents, and, most importantly, make sure students have the support they need in order to move forward.”
“Although I’ve been an educator in one way or another for over 30 years and have held leadership roles that have required me to observe other teachers and their students, I’ve never before had this degree of insight into learning.”
What’s next for Cluey?
This investment recognises the role tutoring and, more broadly, educational technology plays in the success and confidence of Australian students.
Mark Rohald concludes, “The funding will go towards further developing our learning platform and analytics capabilities so that we can better understand the ways in which children learn, and how we can personalise the process for each student.
“We will continue to expand our curriculum to provide richer, more interactive, and more exciting lesson content. We are also working with universities to access greater opportunities for educational research.
“Above all, this investment is an unprecedented chance for us to ensure that all Australian students have access to high-quality tutoring support when they need it and how they need it.”