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This startup claims it will make one of Australia's toughest financial exams a little easier

photo: supplied

Apptuto, an education startup founded by Australian Nicholas Cooper is trying to make the Chartered Financial Analyst exams, one of the toughest exams in finance, a little easier.

Though many of the people who attempt the CFA exams are professionals, working in banks and having passed university, the failure rate is astonishing. Around 60% fail the exams.

But Cooper claims the course actually isn’t hard.

“When you actually look at the course content, its easier than HSC level mathematics,” he says.

“Where the difficulty is, is the volume of material that these students have to learn. They already have really busy lives. They are working full time jobs. But at the same time they have to fit in 300 hours of study.”

Cooper experienced the problem first hand while living in Dubai, working and trying to finish off the CFA course in his spare time.

While largely self-driven, with students studying at their own pace and alone, the course hadn’t made the transition to digital.

“We had this smartphone revolution, but I found the materials used when I went back to study for the CFA were the same.” says Cooper

So Cooper teamed up with a developer to create a couple of apps and a website. Apptuto offers live classrooms, and introduced game-like rankings to encourage competition. Cooper recently raised $500,000 and has entered the highly sought after 500startups program to learn how to expand the business.

Apptuto has a different model to many other edutech startups launched recently.

Since the 200,000 students who attempt CFA exams annually are concentrated in certain industries, the company is pitching its services to enterprises.

And this could shape how the company grows in the future.

“These are sticky customers, and they are going to book more of our courses,” says Cooper.

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