Founded by author Tom Hodgkinson, The Idler Academy is an publishing and events business that now offers on-demand education, which includes online courses in the liberal arts and practical skills. The company revealed:
“We publish an inspiring magazine and books, a series of online courses in subjects ranging from ukulele to philosophy, run a live events business and sell books and gifts at events and via mail order. We aim to help people to find freedom and fun in everyday life. Now we are launching a new programme of online courses, bringing useful, enjoyable and eccentric British education products to the world.”
Since its launch in 1993, the company has achieved the following:
- Has 5,000 registered paying customers; average spend of £89 per annum; turnover £205,459 in FY 2015.
- 22,500 mailing list and a network of event partners including the Guardian and Soho House.
- Has been featured in the Sunday Times, Time Out and the Evening Standard.
- Its publication Gwynne’s Grammar spent five months in the top ten on the Sunday Times best sellers, and the annual Bad Grammar Award attracts widespread media coverage.
- Its online courses have so far generated more than £40,000 in revenue and are profitable
- Its new quarterly magazine, launched January 2016, has attracted over 850 subscribers
Idler Academy has four revenue streams, which are digital (online courses/memberships), print (quarterly magazine and educational books), retail (books and gifts), and live (events, courses, festival areas, and commercial jobs). All together they brought in a total £205,459 in 2015.
Besides the online courses, funds from the Crowdcube initiative will go towards the following:
- Expand our team, and invest in marketing/PR initiatives to promote the brand and make sales.
- Push the growth of the mailing list.
Since its launch, the campaign has secured over £60,000 from nearly 60 investors. It is set to close at mid-May.
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