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London Tech Week

Zen Educate that connects schools with gig and full-time teachers raises £19.3M to grow in the US and UK

Zen Educate team
Image credits: Zen Educate

Zen Educate connecting schools with temporary and full-time teachers and teaching assistants has secured £19.3 million in Series A funding. The investment round was led by Brighteye Ventures (that recently backed LabLabee and Twenix), Adjuvo, and several notable private investors and family offices, including Simon Rogerson and Chris Hulatt, the founders of Octopus Group.

This round follows the £9.4 million investment it raised previously and brings the total investment raised by the company to £28.7 million.

Growth in the US and the UK

The new funding will continue 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. The funding will also double the team headcount from 100 to 200 over the next six months. Zen Educate 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.

The US temporary staffing market is worth more than $16B 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.

Slava Kremerman, Co-Founder and CEO of Zen Educate, 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.”

Ben Wirz, Partner at Brighteye Ventures, continued investing in Zen Educate, commented, “We back leaders in EdTech and having witnessed the outstanding execution of the Zen Educate founders and the business’ growth in the UK and US, we’re delighted to be reinvesting. School staffing has become a more pressing need on both sides of the Atlantic in the wake of Covid. Zen Educate’s platform leverages technology to provide timely, high quality, and affordable staffing – putting the company in a unique position to impact schools, teachers, and students when the need has never been greater.”

Tim Throsby, newly appointed Non-Executive Director of Zen Educate, added, “I am very excited to join the Zen Educate Board. Having spent a lot of time with the team, I firmly believe this is an exceptional business doing genuine good in the world.”

One-stop shop for school staffing needs

Zen Educate was founded in 2017 by Slava Kremerman and Oren Cohen in London. Kremerman previously was a member of the leadership team at Nutmeg, one of the UK’s most successful technology startups. Cohen most recently ran the UK office of Optimizely, a prominent and highly successful Silicon Valley technology company.

Zen Educate has built a fairer, more ethical alternative to traditional agencies. The online platform provides a secure one-stop shop to solve a school’s staffing needs, giving schools and teachers an online alternative to recruitment agencies. It also provides teachers with all the useful information they need to work at each location and better ways to communicate and manage relationships with the schools.

The startup has already saved the UK education system nearly £10 million that would have been wasted on recruitment agency fees and connected thousands of teachers to job opportunities. Headquartered in London, the company has offices in three other UK cities and two American cities.

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