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Digital staffing platform Zen Educate has closed a £5.6 million round of funding led by Brighteye Ventures, with participation from existing investors including Adjuvo, and Nick Hungerford, founder of online investment platform Nutmeg.

Since its launch in 2017, Zen Educate has provided schools & teachers with an online alternative to recruitment agencies, becoming a one-stop shop that solves all of a school’s staffing needs.

Schools using the platform have typically made savings of 20-30% on their supply cover costs, which they can access at any time on the platform. Zen Educate has already saved the education system a total of £600k since its launch, and plans to save schools £2 million by the end of the year.

Slava Kremerman, co-founder and CEO of Zen Educate, said: “UK schools are under an immense amount of financial pressure right now, that’s why we’re committed to cutting down supply cover costs significantly so they can spend more on what matters – the children- not on agency fees. By removing the middleman, teachers and schools can cover staff absence with ease, reducing uncertainty, increasing wages and saving costs”.

“While our main focus still remains on making sure schools get the best supply teachers possible, this funding will also allow us to grow our long-term hire offering so we can provide a holistic digital solution for every hiring need. We are aiming to save the education system £100 million per annum by 2024, with our smarter approach to recruitment.”

Brighteye Ventures, which is Europe’s first and largest EdTech VC having closed its first €50m fund in 2017, will be supporting Zen Educate as it continues to scale its operations.

Ben Wirz, partner at Brighteye Advisors, added: “This new capital injection is another testament to the strength of the platform and the ZenEducate team”.

“The team at Zen Educate have incredible insight into the pain points the industry is experiencing and from speaking to schools that use them, it is clear they are solving a real problem for the education system.

“We’re excited to support them in securing market share as they continue to grow rapidly, and drive network effects across their platform.”