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EXCLUSIVE: London EdTech startup Zzish secures £1.5m

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EdTech startup Zzish has closed a £1.5m funding round, bringing the London-based firm’s total funds raised since its 2014 launch to £3m.

Founded by former Google product manager Charles Wiles, Zzish aims to democratise access to advanced learning technologies for teachers, pupils and developers.

£1.32m of this round was raised within four days on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube, with the campaign reaching its target of £1.15m in less than 24 hours.

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European EdTech venture fund Leaf Investments, and Angel investor and founder of the Forward Internet Group, Neil Hutchison, participated in the round.

Wiles, who has a doctorate in robotics and artificial intelligence from Oxford University, created Zzish when – as a single parent – he was struggling to get his smart but disengaged and recently bereaved teenage son to enjoy school.

Wiles had been playing the music quiz app SongPop with his daughter when the idea came to him of creating an educational quiz. He developed the idea further so the app could take performance data and diagnose learning gaps that, through targeted play, could help a child memorise and master a subject.

Wiles, who is also the company’s CEO, said: “Driving engagement and love for core disciplines at an early stage is not only crucial to the mastery of such subjects but is also necessary to producing the next generation of teachers, engineers, mathematicians and scientists that will power the innovation of tomorrow.”

“We are pioneering EdTech to curtail the critical teacher decline, address the disengagement problem, democratise quality education and ‘solve’ the funding conundrum,” he added.

Zzish is to use the new funds to roll out the product internationally.

Alan Maguire, partner at Leaf Investments, said: “We’re looking for two things in our investments: one is learning outcomes and efficacy, and the other is technology that brings real efficiency to the education environment, and that’s what a lot of EdTech companies miss.”

He went on to say Zzish brings in a “perfect combination of the two”.

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