Why We Invested In Kinderly
Blog by Joe Ludlow, Investment Director for Ufi Ventures
I’m really pleased that Ufi Ventures has made an investment in Kinderly (Nursery Book Ltd). We’re delighted with this news, and really excited about working alongside Geraint, Garry and the team to significantly grow the VocTech and financial impact of Kinderly. We’re also really pleased to be working with our co-investors Development Bank Wales and the group of individual investors who supported the round.
So what is it about Kinderly that’s so exciting?
A great alignment of mission and purpose to tackle a significant vocational learning need, a growing market where VocTech can make a real difference, a demonstrated business model with strong endorsement from users, customers, and industry experts and a dedicated team ready for growth all add to its attractiveness as an investment proposition for Ufi Ventures.
Ufi’s mission is to support the development of digital technologies that help us all obtain the vocational skills we need to get more out of our working lives; whilst at Kinderly the team are on a mission to improve education and development outcomes for children by helping childcare providers to be at their best, supporting them through the use of technology. These two missions align brilliantly in Kinderly’s two digital products, Kinderly Together and Kinderly Learn. Their theory of change and growing evidence base points to how improving the skills and capabilities of childcare professionals leads to better outcomes for children.
The childcare market is large and growing rapidly in the UK and around the world, as parents return to work increasingly quickly after a child is born. Whilst many children participate in pre-schools, kindergartens and larger childcare institutions, small nurseries and childminders represent a significant proportion of the market - and in these smaller businesses, the use of digital tools is often limited, and access to professional development and learning for workers is either inaccessible or just not affordable.
Kinderly offers childcare practitioners and managers a set of digital tools that help practitioners to capture and assess children’s progress, communicate effectively with parents, manage back office processes, engage with and follow regulatory requirements, and learn about best and latest practice. As a result, Kinderly gets great feedback from its customers, and has endorsement of PACEY - the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years.
Founded by CEO Geraint Barton in response to his own experience as a Dad with kids in childcare, the Kinderly team are strongly driven by the mission and see a strong opportunity to grow the business to substantially scale its impact. Chairman Garry Pratt has a significant track record in scaling educational technology ventures and supporting entrepreneurial teams.
Ufi first met Kinderly when they received VocTech Seed funding in 2017 to develop Kinderly Learn. Whilst Ufi Ventures doesn’t only invest in organisations we’ve grant funded, it’s a great example of how we support early-stage ideas and can fund the growth of promising ventures.
You can find out more about the Kinderly investment here.