On July 26, 2022, the UK-based online course provider FutureLearn filed their annual report for the prior financial year, from August 2020 to July 2021.
In the report, we learned that FutureLearn doesn’t have enough funding to survive 2022:
“Following a review of cashflow forecasts, including plausible downside sensitivities, the group does not currently have sufficient funding in place for its requirements for 12 months from the date of signing the financial statements of the Group for the year ended 31 July 2021.”
FutureLearn was originally wholly owned by Open University (OU), which was the subject of one of Class Central’s previous features. FutureLearn, whose offerings we discuss at length here, represents the flagship venture of the OU, alongside its other platform, OpenLearn, which we also recently wrote about.
In 2019, SEEK Group invested £50 million in Futurelearn, becoming joint owners with the Open University. Since the investment, FutureLearn’s losses doubled and revenue didn’t grow in line with investment.
FutureLearn: By the Numbers
In the financial year (FY) ending July 31, 2021, FutureLearn made £11.3 million and lost £16.1 million. At the end of FY 2021, the company had £15.4 million in net assets, down from £32.4 million a year prior.
We don’t know the numbers for FY 2022, but we can assume the losses to be in a similar range, since the company needs an additional £15 million to continue to operate.
According to the filing, FutureLearn’s board and shareholders have come to an agreement to provide this additional £15 million in funding in 3 tranches of £5 million in July 2022, October 2022, and January 2023.
The last two tranches will be “dependent on meeting agreed milestones.”
FutureLearn is also looking into raising investment from third parties.
Below, you can find Class Central‘s complete analysis of FutureLearn over the years: