Gecko Appoints High Profile Chair as Education Technology Specialist Plots North America Expansion
New Chair Jeremy Cooper Is a Former President at Hobsons, and Senior Executive With Blackboard and RM Education
Gecko has appointed a high profile chair as the education technology specialist that helps universities engage and recruit students plots further international expansion. Jeremy Cooper, a former President at Hobsons, and senior executive at Blackboard and RM Education, becomes Gecko’s Non-executive Chairman as Gecko enters its next phase of growth. Cooper brings extensive industry experience to the role at Gecko as a previous President and Chief Sales Officer at Hobsons, Vice-President for Europe at Blackboard, the world’s largest educational technology group, and as Managing Director at RM Education.
Gecko had a record-breaking 2020 in spite of a challenging operating environment, winning 17 new university and college clients in the United Kingdom and US. During Q1 of 2021, the company has signed a series of new clients including South Texas College in the US and Queens University Belfast in the UK. Edinburgh-Headquartered Gecko also has offices in London and New York. Other higher education clients include University of California, Western Kentucky University, San Francisco State University, University of Cambridge and University of St Andrews.
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Gecko’s technology, which has already been utilized by over 10 million students, enables higher education institutions, primarily universities in the UK and the US, to better engage with, recruit and enrol students. In the wake of Covid-19, Gecko launched a series of initiatives to help the sector address challenges thrown up by the pandemic. These included launching an artificial intelligence-driven free chatbot, ResponseBot, that enabled over 60 universities to deliver automated, up to the minute information to students. Alongside virtual on-campus and online events, Gecko also delivered free Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to customers, with uncapped calling and texting capabilities enabling limitless communications.
Matthew Lanham, CEO and Founder, Gecko, said: “Every higher education institution is different, but they all face very similar challenges. We take the time, human resources and other capacity of our customers and make it work harder, and are constantly working on solutions to the kind of problems higher education institutions face every day.”
“What we’ve seen during the pandemic is that universities have stepped up digital transformation in the face of Covid, and we’ve seen our technology really come into its own over the last twelve months. The next year will be about continual product improvements, and further expansion into North America. To get someone of Jeremy’s calibre on board to help guide our growth strategy is a major coup for Gecko, and we look forward to his support in the months and years ahead.”
Jeremy Cooper, Chairman, Gecko, said: “Gecko is one of the most exciting and dynamic EdTech companies in the UK, with an international mindset evidenced by the progress made in the US to date. I look forward to working with Matt and the team, who have already developed best-of-class technology, and making sure the company realises its significant potential in the UK and North American markets.”
Gecko hired 6 people to its team in 2020, with headcount now standing at 40. The company raised its most recent investment round in 2019 led by Mercia Asset Management PLC and including Scottish Investment Banks’s Co-Investment Fund, and CEO Lanham says he expects to embark on the next investment round later this year.
Lanham added: “As we continue to scale the business, we are actively speaking to the venture capital community about our next phase of growth.”
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