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£300,000 investment by Ufi and the Development Bank of Wales to inspire bright young futures


Sarah Smith
Investment Executive
Published:
kinderly nursery book

Newport-based early years education technology specialists Kinderly has secured a £300,000 investment to help give children a great start in life, regardless of their circumstances or need.

Kinderly Founder and CEO Geraint Barton has secured £150,000 from Ufi Ventures, follow-on equity investment of £100,000 from the Development Bank of Wales and £50,000 from angel investors; the first investment by the Development Bank was an initial seed investment of £150,000 in 2018. The funding will be used to further develop the Kinderly range of digital resources for early years childcare professionals.

The award winning best in-class software tool, Kinderly Together makes it quick and easy to digitally capture the early years learning journey. It allows childcare providers to enhance parent communication. It also provides reporting and tools to better manage childcare provision by viewing developmental progress of all children at a glance with progress tracking, effective planning and reporting via a personalised dashboard.

Kinderly Learn, is a new online learning platform that helps early years practitioners to manage their own Continuing Professional Development (CPD). All the learning has been designed to be engaging, bite-size, accessible and affordable. It has been developed in collaboration with Bath Spa University, PACEY (Professional Association of Childcare in Early Years), and Achievement for All.

Geraint Barton, CEO said: “What motivates us is improving outcomes for all children, no matter what their background, so our mission is to create digital resources and tools to support childcare professionals to be at their best  and to help them run an outstanding early years setting.  

“We are delighted to have received support from the Development Bank of Wales and Ufi Ventures whose mission to impact outcomes through the use of technology, closely aligns with ours.

“Our digital platforms enable childcare professionals to be at their best for children by helping them keep up to date with their learning and CPD. The platforms will improve efficiency and  enhance two-way communication with parents by joining up the child’s early learning journey between the childcare setting and home. Evidence based Research tells us that parental engagement is a key factor for improved outcomes for children.

“The investment by Ufi Ventures and the Development Bank of Wales will enable the further development of our unique technology to help ensure that all children are given a great start in life.”

Garry Pratt, Chairman of Kinderly said: ‘Kinderly has a fantastic commercial opportunity in the rapidly growing and changing childcare market, both in the UK and internationally. The approach of Geraint and his team to focus on helping childcare providers be at their best resonates strongly with the core stakeholder, the parent, and has real impact on their children’s early years development. The funding and support from the Development Bank of Wales and Ufi Ventures will be instrumental in helping start to scale the business.”

Sarah Smith, Investment Executive with the Development Bank of Wales said: “Our follow-on investment in Kinderly is testament to our confidence in the market potential of the Kinderly technology.

“Kinderly is an exciting digital platform that is transforming the way in which childcare professionals manage their businesses, their professional development and their engagement with parents. We are really pleased to be part of the journey alongside Ufi Ventures as a co-investor.”

Joe Ludlow, Impact Investment Director at Ufi said: "Ufi Ventures is delighted to be supporting Kinderly and is excited about the company’s high impact products and ambitious plans for future growth. Ufi Ventures invests in companies that advance the Ufi mission and have potential for significant social and financial impact. The Kinderly products and the company’s plans clearly demonstrate this promise and we're looking forward to working with the team and its partners.”

The investment has come from the Wales Business Fund which is part-funded by the ERDF, through the Welsh Government and set up to support businesses with fewer than 250 employees, based in Wales or willing to move here.