Nesta Impact Investments' latest ed-tech investment

We are delighted to announce our latest investment into Third Space Learning (TSL), which uses technology to connect academic talent from around the world to children at risk of failure in primary schools across England. Alongside Ananda - Social Venture Fund and a group of angel investors, we’ve supported them with £500,000 in a round totalling £1.5m.

What’s the problem?

The benefits of high numeracy are widely documented – it is linked to being employed, earning higher wages, and having good health. In the UK, four in five adults have a low level of numeracy. There are a range of aspects to this issue and many of the approaches to improving numeracy require systems and wider attitude change. However, one solution lies in greater targeted support to children who are falling behind in school, including one-to-one tuition. Whilst there is promising evidence of the effectiveness of this approach, it tends to be expensive and hard to come by (in part due to the shortage of specialist maths teachers) and therefore not accessible to all young people that need it.

What does Third Space Learning do to help?

Third Space Learning increases access to one-to-one maths tuition by sourcing talented specialists from across the globe, and using technology to connect them to children at risk of failure in primary schools across the UK. By delivering a quality, affordable service, direct in to schools, Third Space Learning has the potential to reach thousands of young people that may not otherwise have access to one-to-one tuition.

What impact does Third Space Learning have?

Third Space Learning has the potential to improve student confidence and attainment in maths. In the longer term, we hope this will improve the life chances of young people through improving their educational attainment. We also believe TSL has the potential to improve cultural and attitudinal problems associated to maths i.e. transitioning pupils from thinking: “I can’t do maths” to: “Actually, I’m alright at maths, and that’s not such a bad thing”.

What will our investment be used for?

Our investment will be used to grow the customer, academic and technology resources, to enable the company to scale up its reach and impact in the UK.

What attracted us to this opportunity?

There are three standout things that attracted us to investing in Third Space Learning:

  1. it tackles a significant social problem with a solution that is scalable and has very promising potential to create sustained social impact
  2. it is led by a very impressive entrepreneur who is supported by a talented, ambitious team
  3. the opportunity to co-invest alongside Social Venture Fund to form a syndicate that we believe has what it takes to support the business over the coming years.

This blog was originally published on Nesta Impact Investments. Read the original blog here.


Isabel Newman

Isabel Newman

Isabel Newman

Associate Investment Director (Secondment)

Isabel was an associate investment director in Nesta’s Impact Investments team.

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