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London Tech Week

Code First Girls raises £4.5M to close the gender gap in tech

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Photo Credit: Code First Girls

There is a significant gender gap in the tech industry, with women accounting for only 21% of the UK tech industry and black women accounting for less than 3%. The UK’s tech job market is expected to be worth £30B by 2025, six times what it is now, and a diverse talent pipeline will be required to unlock this value.

Code First Girls, a female-founded, fast-growing UK business that provides free coding education and employment to women, has raised £4.5M in funding from female angel investors and a leading investment firm to accelerate growth and close the gender gap in the traditionally male-dominated tech industry.

The funding round saw participation from consumer-focused investment firm Active Partners and prolific female angels including a former director of Bumble and CEO and Founder of Peanut, CEO of notonthehighstreet.com, former VP of Monzo and Co-Founder and COO of Stealth, CEO and Founder of the UpGroup, and COO of MoneyBox. The funding round has also received backing from the CEOs and COOs of companies such as Bloom & Wild.

The funding will allow the company to meet an ambitious new goal of providing one million opportunities for women to learn to code and secure a job in technology over the next five years.

Code First Girls, founded by Alice Bentinck MBE and Matthew Clifford MBE in 2012, who also co-founded startup accelerator Entrepreneur First, has been transitioning from a social enterprise to a rapidly accelerating profit-making business in recent years. Anna has spearheaded this repositioning and is now a Founder.

Code First Girls has already assisted 80,000 women in learning to code and has collaborated with companies all over the world.

Future endeavours

Code First Girls plans to put over 26,000 women through the ‘CFGdegree’ and place them in tech roles over the next five years as part of its ambition to provide one million opportunities to women, alongside free online courses at every stage of the pipeline.

Anna Brailsford, CEO of Code First Girls, said, “We’re proud of both our social and commercial impact, having already taught 80,000 women to code for free, linking talent with jobs, and having recently 10xed our revenue and user base. Our next goal is to become the world’s first EdTech unicorn dedicated to women.

“This funding round is a vote of confidence from major figures in the tech industry, who see our pioneering model as a solution to the tech gender gap. We’ll use this investment to provide one million opportunities for women to learn to code for free and enter the industry, driving a huge £1B in economic opportunities for women and a boost for the entire sector.”

Tom Profumo, Investor at Active Partners, said, “Traditional education providers are failing to address the significant tech talent shortages across the industry today, as well as the huge lack of diverse talent. Code First Girls offers the solution to this problem. By providing free coding courses for all women and supporting them into employment at some of the world’s biggest companies, Code First Girls is facilitating social mobility, boosting the diverse tech talent pool and addressing the tech skills gap. We have been very impressed by what Anna and the team have achieved so far and the company’s transformative impact on so many women’s lives. We look forward to joining Code First Girls on this exciting next phase of growth and supporting the team to achieve its mission to close the gender gap in the tech industry.”

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