russdev (25th May 2014)
Impero software has been bought by its founder.
Techie raises £10m to fight cyber bullying in classroom | The Sunday Times
Not sure if anyone has access to full article to post?
Last edited by Edu-IT; 25th May 2014 at 10:21 AM.
Well at least I can talk about it. Now the article has gone out in the media.... You will be amazed how much work goes into something like this..
A SOFTWARE company that develops tools to prevent bullying in schools has been taken over by its founder in a £10m deal.
Jon Valentine, 33, who started Impero in 2002, has bought out his two business partners in a deal backed by the investment firm Connection Capital.
Impero is a fast-growing technology company that has created a suite of online tools to help teachers keep tabs on pupils in the classroom. It monitors students’ online activities for signs of bullying and self-harm, and analyses slang in emails and internet messages, to spot teenagers who may be about to go off the rails.
“As a student is typing an email, our software will take a screen shot and tell the teacher what it means and what action to take,” said Valentine, who wrote his first computer code on a ZX Spectrum at the age of eight. The Impero technology keeps a dictionary of slang words and acronyms that would be unfamiliar to teachers but could signify that a student was being bullied or groomed by a sexual predator. Examples include “dirl”, which stands for “die in real life”, or “gnoc”, “get naked on camera”.
Based in Loughborough, Leicestershire, the company has sold its software to 1,300 British secondary schools, or about a third of the market, said Valentine.
The entrepreneur, who set up Impero while working as an education IT consultant, will use some of the Connection Capital cash to accelerate expansion into America.
Revenues are expected to hit £7.5m this year, compared with £400,000 in 2011, and Valentine is aiming to generate annual profits of £25m within a few years.
Technology could upend centuries of traditional teaching methods in schools, attracting legions of investors, such as Connection. Education start-ups raised $500m (£300m) in the first quarter of the year. Most tech firms in the sector have focused on developing tailored learning aids.
Last edited by russdev; 25th May 2014 at 11:07 AM.
Some big numbers there!
Do you review the dictionary often?
As for numbers thanks this article comes from a massive number of months of hard work by the whole company.
How does this compare to Securus? We use both here.
Just wanted to say that now the news is out, I can talk about it...
Having listening to what people have been saying on edugeek over the years (and with people face to face), I wanted to make some major changes within the business to reflect the desires of our customers (you guys), but was not completely able to without regaining full control of the business I started, for example, the un-bundling of features so they can be purchased alone without all the other stuff (eg. Learning Manager being just the classroom management).
As of Friday the 23rd, I regained full control of the business and can now make the changes I believe will not only make the company more successful but also allow my vision to fully come to light. This in turn should be in the best interest of our existing customers and those who wish to try Impero but felt unwilling due to some reason or another.
I hope this news has brought some comfort to any Edugeek'ers who may have felt disappointed by (old) tactics adopted by our sales team and should rest assured that things will pan out in a way which is favourable by everyone.
Please feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org should anyone wish to know more details! :-)
That's good news on the unbundling front. We considered Impero but didn't like the 'it's all or nothing approach'.
Quite timely for us as we were reviewing some features in Impero that looked useful but others not so much so in light of established products we already have. A mix and match approach sounds good.
Does this mean in future I should be able to reduce costs by opting out of the various features we don't use? I'm assuming so.
(Just had a nostalgic look at our very first logs back in 2010... n'awww)
Last edited by WithoutMotive; 27th May 2014 at 02:35 PM.
I did look into Impero used it and it worked well in my last school (secondary) although when I tried to purchase it here we where quoted in the thousands. We are only a medium sized Primary with a few hundred children but I was astonished at the pricing. It would probably go well if we where a Telford & Wrekin school as their council has bought into Impero licensing and all schools get the price heavily subsidized, shame really it's not an option for us.
@jonimpero Hi jon I must say our school has been with Impero since back when it was version 1 and was still very young, I don't think there is a product on the market that tickets all of the boxes that not only NM, techies like but also it just brings the power back into teachers hands especially when they want kids to learn a subject they are trying to teach and the kids are being a pest.
I remember somewhere in the distance past that a video was put up on youtube, I think it was, and it was in relation to how impero doesn't use a lot of bandwidth and kills the network. and also just how easy it is to use. I seen one of your techs in ASDA Spondon few days ago and we got talking about the software he didn't go into detail but he said there are some updates that are coming out ?? I tried to bribe him for a T-Shirt but he wasn't having any of it lol
Again, can I ask how these new features would compare to e.g. Securus?
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