A teacher who started making video maths lessons to help a pupil has sold the resulting business he built for an undisclosed sum.
HegartyMaths has been acquired by Sparx, which offers online maths homework packages.
The business was created by maths teacher Colin Hegarty, who in 2015 was awarded £50,000 to develop his website idea after successfully pitching his business case to Sir Richard Branson.
The following year, Mr Hegarty was the UK's only finalist in the Global Teacher Prize as a result of his work.
He came up with the idea when a student at Preston Manor School, in Wembley, north-west London, had to leave the country to be with his terminally ill father. The boy was in danger of falling behind in his A-level course.
The rise of HegartyMaths
Mr Hegarty put the second-year A-level course online for him, with a video for each lesson.
Later, he began to ask pupils to watch his videos for homework then work through related questions in class.
From that the HegartyMaths business grew and Mr Hegarty subsequently left the school to develop it.
He told Tes: “Since creating the very first maths video to help a student, I feel I’ve been on an incredible journey.
“External recognition for my work as a teacher helped to give me the confidence to set up HegartyMaths, and in the past three years I have been blown away with its success. Becoming part of the Sparx family is the next chapter and means we will be able to make even greater impact.
“However, in all of this, I am still a maths teacher who really wants to help young people to understand this amazing subject. That’s what really drives me.”
Mr Hegarty will continue to lead and direct HegartyMaths, as part of the leadership team for the whole organisation. Dan Sandhu, CEO of Sparx, will join the board of HegartyMaths.
Sparx said its acquisition of HegartyMaths would give it a reach of some 1 million users in more than 1,300 schools.
Mr Sandhu said: “I have been consistently impressed with Colin Hegarty and his team’s teacher-led approach.
“Combining this with our own school-led research and insight expertise will enable us both to take a leap forward in helping transform maths education in the UK and globally.”
Earlier this month, Sparx announced that it had raised £20 million to support the future development of its technologies and international expansion.