My First Five Years, a Manchester-based education technology company, has raised £1.4M in funding from a series of investors including the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) fund, which supports job growth in the region and five unnamed high-net-worth entrepreneurs and business owners in the North West.
Co-founded in 2021 by Jennie Johnson and Alistair Bryce-Clegg, My First Five Years is a personalized parenting guidance start-up offering advice to parents in the formative years of their child’s life. The platform creates a safe and supportive learning space for parents, to support their child’s unique development. Using scientific research, and supported by many years of industry expertise, My First Five Years adapts to suit the individual needs of children through creative play.
Commenting on the funding, Co-founder of My First Five Years, Jennie Johnson, said, “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.”
Johnson further added, “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. 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.”
My First Five Years has already enlisted the help of Truth Creative for the brand launch, while Apadmi has created the app.
Councillor David Molyneux, GMCA lead for Investment and Resources, has said, “GMCA was impressed with Jennie’s experience and the way technology was being adapted to improve the lives of parents and young children. 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.”
The start-up currently employs 14 staff and has plans to recruit a number of early years content specialists as it continues to develop its library of more than 2,600 skills and activity resources parents can use to support their child in their first five years.
The company’s founders are targeting 250k users in the next 3 years. My First Five Years had raised £200,000 seed funding last year.