Zen Educate, a London based education technology platform that connects schools with temporary and full-time teachers and teaching assistants, has raised £19.3 million in its Series A extension round.
The funding round was led by Brighteye Ventures, Adjuvo with participation from several notable private investors and family offices, including Simon Rogerson and Chris Hulatt, the founders of Octopus Group.
With the fresh capital, the company plans to grow the platform across the UK, support further market expansion in the United States, where it has already seen “explosive growth”, and complete its first acquisitions to consolidate the market. It will also double the team headcount from 100 to 200 over the next six months.
Founded in 2017 by Slava Kremerman and Oren Cohen, Zen Educate uses proprietary software to perform an extensive series of checks during the teacher sign-up process to ensure all professionals listed are thoroughly vetted before a final manual review of each profile. The platform provides a secure one-stop shop to solve a school’s staffing needs, and teachers with information they need to work at each location and ways to communicate and manage relationships with the schools. It is on a mission to change the world of education recruitment and will work tirelessly to do so.
Zen Educate has built a “fairer, more ethical alternative to traditional agencies, removing the hassle of archaic processes”. It has tripled in size year-on-year and is approaching nearly one million hours of cover booked on its platform in the last 12 months.
Speaking about the capital raised, Co-founder & CEO of Zen Educate, Slava Kremerman, said:
“This significantly oversubscribed extension to our Series A validates the progress we’ve been making in our mission to change the world of temporary work in schools. We are proud to say we have saved the UK education system millions of pounds each year, which is why we are excited about our growth and expansion into the US market.”
The firm claims to have already saved the UK education system approximately £10 million that would have been “wasted” on recruitment agency fees and connected thousands of teachers to job opportunities.
The US temporary staffing market is worth more than $16 billion per year and has a large gap for digitalisation which Zen Educate has already started to fill. Similar to the UK, there is an opportunity in the US to build a vertically integrated offering that offers significantly better outcomes for both sides of the education market.
Zen Educate had previously raised around £9.4 million ($10.4 million) in funding across multiple rounds since inception, with the most recent being a £6.8 million in its Series A round (7, $5m) split between 2019 and 2020. The startup’s latest funding brings its total raised to £28.7 million.