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UniQuest raises £650,000 to fund further expansion

A UK-based student enrolment management and conversion specialist, UniQuest, has announced it has raised £650,000 in growth capital in an angel financing round.

UniQuest was set up by Natalie Letcher (left) and Rachel Fletcher

There is an increasing appetite among "intentioned, thoughtful universities" to consider outsourcing "non-integral teaching activities"

The new investment will be used to further develop and grow the emerging company, which already works with a number of UK universities to deliver a data-led, managed enrolment and conversion service.

“With pressures around immigration, enrolment caps lifting, and the new levy on large employers to fund new apprenticeships, it’s quite a challenging environment to negotiate for UK universities”

Natalie Letcher, chair and co-founder of the company, told The PIE News that she believes the somewhat turbulent landscape of higher education meant there is an increasing appetite among “intentioned, thoughtful universities” to consider outsourcing “non-integral teaching activities” to third party specialists.

“With pressures around immigration, enrolment caps lifting, and the new levy on large employers to fund new apprenticeships, combined with the demographics in Europe and the complication of digital delivery of education, it’s quite a challenging environment to negotiate for UK universities,” said Letcher.

Her co-founder, Rachel Fletcher, commented, “This capital will enable us to meet the increasing demand for our service, continually develop our platform to be best-of-breed and to expand into a number of new geographic markets.”

The financing was provided by a diverse group of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and experts in the fields of higher education and digital technology.

Among them is internet-focused entrepreneur William Reeve, the co-CEO of Hubbub.co.uk who has a proven track record building successful businesses such as Fletcher Research and LOVEFiLM.com from scratch to successful exits, and seasoned higher education professional, Andrew Mills (formerly of Study Group).

Mills now works in a non-executive directorship capacity with Performance Education, Nexpay, EC Language Centres, Australian Institute of Higher Education and Scentia Pty Ltd.

Several investors have also accepted places on the UniQuest board in various capacities, including Christopher Spray, who will be joining as shareholder representative.

Spray was previously a General Partner at Atlas Venture LP, working within their technology group, and is now a private investor in software, services and Internet-related businesses.

Also joining the board is Christopher Letcher, who will bring his years of expertise in HE and investment, including 13 years as CEO of a global education and technology services supplier, to his new role as non-executive director of UniQuest.

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