From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Privately held company
IndustryEducation Applications
FoundedOctober 2015
FoundersJames Gupta & Omair Vaiyani
HeadquartersLeeds, United Kingdom
Area served
Key people
James Gupta (CEO), Omair Vaiyani (CTO)
Total equityGBP £1,200,000
Number of employees
ParentMyLabs Ltd

Synap is a flashcard learning software.


Synap was developed by James Gupta and Omair Vaiyani, two medical students at Leeds Medical School, with an interest in neuroscience and memory. Having used spaced repetition software such as Anki in the past, they created a website that allowed students to write crowdsourced quizzes in a Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) format.[1]

As of 2015, Synap had no revenues, but the founders were exploring adding a premium version for paying users.[2]


The first incarnation of Synap operated under the name 'MyCQs', which was released as a native iOS application and website in 2012, and initially gained popularity amongst UK medical students[3][4][5]

During this time, CEO James Gupta was recruited as the Chief Technology Officer for JumpIn, a student-focused taxi booking and sharing app.[6] The company was acquired by taxi firm Addison Lee in 2014,[7][8] after which James returned to focus on MyCQs.

In 2014, MyCQs received funding and mentoring from Jisc, an education technology charity,[9] and received a scholarship from The University of Leeds.[10]


In 2015, the team shifted focus by integrating more algorithms based on educational psychology research,[11] and started to describe itself as a 'personalised learning' platform.[12] This also led to the company being renamed Synap[13]


In August 2015, Synap launched an equity crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube.[14][15]


Synap uses the concept of spaced repetition to send new content to users based on what they need to practice the most. In this sense, Synap is similar to existing spaced repetition platforms such as Anki and SuperMemo, though notably it does not support the creation of flashcards, which are more commonly associated with spaced repetition.


Synap was originally developed on Facebook's Parse platform.[16] In January 2016, Facebook announced that Parse would be closing down, and advised developers to migrate their apps to other services.[17] As of March 2016, Synap has been hosted on Amazon Web Services, using the newly open-sourced Parse Server, which itself uses Node.js. The website is developed in Ember.js, and uses a MongoDB database, making Synap an example of full stack JavaScript development.[18]

Recognition and awards[edit]

Synap has been featured in The Oxford Public Health Magazine.[19]

In December 2015, Synap was listed as one of 10 British AI companies to look out for, by Business Insider.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Leeds Medicine Undergraduate Academic Brochure (p32)", Leeds Medical School, retrieved 2016-04-24
  2. ^ "Here's the new app Oxford medics and LSE business students are using to help them get a 1st", Business Insider, retrieved 2016-04-24
  3. ^ "University of Leeds students aiming to get top marks for smartphone app", Yorkshire Evening Post, retrieved 2016-04-24
  4. ^ "Student Generated Resources", Technology in Medical Education (University of Leeds), retrieved 2016-04-24
  5. ^ "Leeds Medicine Undergraduate Academic Brochure (p32)", Leeds Medical School, retrieved 2016-04-24
  6. ^ "Leeds University case studies: JumpIn", Leeds University Careers, retrieved 2016-04-24
  7. ^ "Young brits: the winner's stories so far", Jack Wills Blog, retrieved 2016-04-24
  8. ^ "2015: Year of the rideshare?", Cab4Now, retrieved 2016-04-24
  9. ^ "Jisc Summer of Student Innovation 2014", Jisc, retrieved 2016-04-24
  10. ^ "University bootcamp puts fledgling entrepreneurs through their paces", University of Leeds, retrieved 2016-04-24
  11. ^ "Interview with James Gupta, CEO & Founder of Synap",, retrieved 2016-04-24
  12. ^ "The death of the university lecture", Huffington Post, retrieved 2016-04-24
  13. ^ "Synap FAQ: What is Synap?", Synap, retrieved 2016-04-24
  14. ^ "Crowdcube official pitch page for Synap", Crowdcube, retrieved 2016-04-24
  15. ^ "Edtech entrepreneurs launch £180,000 crowdfunding campaign", Business Desk, retrieved 2016-04-24
  16. ^ "Developing an effective technology stack", Synap Blog, retrieved 2016-04-24/
  17. ^ "Moving On", Parse Blog, retrieved 2016-04-24
  18. ^ "'s technology stack", StackShare, retrieved 2016-04-24
  19. ^ "Oxford Public Health Magazine Issue 4: Innovation and social entrepreneurship (p32-33", Oxford Public Health Magazine, retrieved 2016-04-24
  20. ^ "10 British AI companies to look out for in 2016", Business Insider, retrieved 2016-24-04

External links[edit]