Cypher – the London-based edtech startup that offers creatively themed coding camps for children aged 5 to 14 with the aim of inspiring children to learn coding, computational thinking, problem solving and communication – has closed a second funding round of £250K, bringing the total funds raised since launch in 2016 to £435K.
The startup – which is backed by investors including Michael Liebreich – won the 2017 Small Business Grants and was selected for the Natwest Accelerator programme.
It has grown from three to 30 teachers since its inception and has hosted over 1,000 children in its coding camps. Revenue has grown 330% in two years, with global plans to franchise the business in the US and Middle East.
Cypher was founded by American-born serial entrepreneur, author and computer scientist Elizabeth Tweedale, who has been teaching children coding in London over the last 6 years.
She saw a commercial opportunity to make coding more accessible to all kinds of children, not just those who are naturally technically minded. She also wanted to create a venture that would also have a positive social impact on children’s futures. Tweedale’s vision is to empower the next generation to navigate the changing world around us by understanding the universal technological language of code, the most powerful and ubiquitous language tool.
She said: “when today’s school children leave university, technologies such as AI and robotics will be commonplace. I truly believe it is our generation’s responsibility to educate children on coding and computational thinking in order for them to navigate this new reality. Children should embrace these technologies, rather than be intimidated by them.”
Cypher runs extensive coding camps at schools in all the holidays, providing childcare solutions for parents during these periods whilst also providing constructive, interactive and educational activities that go above and beyond the computer programming taught as part of the National Curriculum.
Tweedale continued: “We use real life, creative examples to engage the students in the social value of coding and computer science – applying these skills to conservation, architecture and design. I am passionate about the advantages technological developments can bring to wellbeing. “