Young Londoner raises $1m from Innocent smoothie founders and Skype investors to launch education app

Burgess founded Education Apps while he was a student at a prestigious London school aged 17

A 21-year-old has raised $1 million (£600,000) from the founders of Innocent smoothies and an investor in Skype to build an education app that will be “a student’s best friend”.

George Burgess founded company Education Apps aged just 17 while he was still studying at the prestigious west London private school. Burgess developed an app that lets students download educational ebooks and resources after struggling to find any apps to help him revise.

"Not being a developer myself I teamed up with someone abroad," says Burgess. "My teacher caught me emailing this guy in class and when I explained what I was doing he got really excited and started making content for our first app."

Burgess, from Earl’s Court, self-funded the business using money he earned from his lucrative eBay store. The app quickly took off and Burgess brokered deals with the likes of the BBC and publisher Pearson to offer their content through the app.

He continued to run the company while studying at Stanford University in America for 18 months and last year the app was downloaded almost a quarter of a million times.

Today venture capital firm Index Ventures and JamJar Investments, a fund set up by the founders of Innocent smoothies, announced they have invested over $1 million in Burgess’ app, which is being rebranded as Gojimo.

Burgess was introduced to the Innocent Drinks founders after the company’s creative director gave a talk at St Paul’s. "I went to see it and ended up having lunch with the guy," Burgess says.

Jon Wright, one of the three founders of Innocent Drinks, said: “We loved George from the moment we met him. He’s a smart, focused guy and he’s got ambition beyond his years.

"Everybody knows that mobile and digital is hot but we believe the education industry is going to be transformed too."

Index Ventures has previously backed the likes of Skype, Asos and LoveFilm. Burgess is one of the youngest entrepreneurs it has ever backed by the venture capital firm.

The Gojimo app is being re-launched today in partnership with McGraw-Hill Education and Oxford University Press and Burgess said he wants to turn the company into a “global brand”.

"Going forward the exciting thing is what we build around it. We’re looking at ways in which teachers can interact with their students."

Burgess said he was also working on social elements for the platform, such as the ability to add friends and compete against them in quizzes.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
A poster by Durham Constabulary
news
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

Laura Norton: Project Accountant

£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine