Edtech start-up secures £1.4million funding

Stephen Chapman's picture
by Stephen Chapman
My First Five Years

Manchester-based edtech start-up, My First Five Years, has been awarded £1.4m in funding to develop its early years learning app.

The company, co-founded by Kids Allowed’s Jennie Johnson and Alistair Bryce-Clegg is targeting 250k users in the next 3 years.

The cash comes from Greater Manchester Combined Authority and 5 unnamed high-net-worth North West Entrepreneurs.

“We’re thrilled to have secured the funding which will allow us to continue operating for at least the next 15 months. We’ve got ambitious targets for growth, including content and app development, and this funding is vital to helping us in the next stage of our journey,” said Johnson.

“We’re also pleased for the funding to have come from the immediate area and we were again oversubscribed. We pitched to 30 venture capital firms in the end and many firms do not seem to have the funds to invest in business at our stage. However, through the network and connections we have established, and the support received through the Exchange scale-up scheme, we have managed to secure the funds needed for us to continue to grow.”

The company offers advice to parents in the formative years of their child’s life. It submitted the app to the Apple iOS store this week and will be commissioning an Android version this month.

“We launched a beta version of the app to 1,100 users five months ago and we’ve been lucky enough to be able to shape the app’s development based on their feedback and tune into what real parents have found useful, to create a feature-rich product earlier than we anticipated,” she continued.

The company has already enlisted the help of Truth Creative for the brand launch, while Apadmi has created the app.

"GMCA was impressed with Jennie's experience and the way technology was being adapted to improve the lives of parents and young children,” said Councillor David Molyneux, GMCA lead for Investment and Resources.

"The continued development of My First Five Years supports the growth of Greater Manchester's thriving digital economy. The growth of the app will also create a number of new good-quality jobs in the sector for the city-region.”

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