Cypher, a London-based Edtech startup that offers coding camps and courses for children, has closed a seed funding round of £422k in investment, with the majority from 313 investors via crowdfunding platform Seedrs.
In the latest round, with a total investment of £1.2 million, the startups will be valued at £ 5.9 million. Using the crowdfunding platform Seedrs allowed the coding school to bring in a broad range of investors to reflect their new global offering and product, following their successful business pivot to an online offering during the pandemic last year.
The new funding will go towards continuing investment in platform development, making key hires for the business and expanding the startup’s reach across the UK, US and globally.
Cypher runs extensive coding camps at schools during the holidays, providing childcare solutions for parents during these periods whilst providing constructive, interactive, and educational activities that go above and beyond the computer programming taught as part of the National Curriculum.
Founded in 2016 by American-born serial entrepreneur, author and computer scientist Elizabeth Tweedale, Cypher inspires children to learn the language of the future by offering hands-on creative coding camps and courses. It teaches children from 5 to 14 years old how to code through creative themes, including digital art, nature, music, fashion, architecture and design, space, drones, robotics, etc. that encourage curiosity, spark imagination and help build the ability to think and communicate ideas.
Cypher gives learners a methodical and cumulative education that builds their skills in coding, touch typing, communication, collaboration, creativity, and flexibility. Its curriculum is devised to teach a firm foundation in computer science, above and beyond the national curriculum requirements.
Talking about the new funding, Elizabeth Tweedale, CEO and Founder of Cypher, said,
"Although a sudden transition, the last year has allowed us to accelerate and develop our online offering, reaching thousands of children from 21 countries globally to help teach them coding, the language of the future workforce. This funding helps us to finalise the development of our subscription offering. Cypher has recently become a STEM accredited provider alongside companies like Apple and Disney. The development of our proprietary curriculum via a monthly subscription, where children can attend a class every week across multiple coding languages and creative themes, with access to a dedicated teacher, opens up coding to many more children globally."
Cypher differentiates itself with its inclusive lesson plans, which is designed in conjunction with teachers and computer scientists, to show the creative applications of coding from designing jewellery to programming drones to collecting ocean plastic.
The company will launch a brand-new subscription service in the US in September. With the subscription, children can start with Cypher at age six, and by the time they reach age 12, they will be technically literate, competent across multiple coding languages, as well as having learnt about healthy screen time, looking after their mental health and online safety. This is the beginning of building an all-encompassing technological education for the next generation.
Last year in July, Cypher had raised £225k in a funding round to expand its business to international markets.