CODE FIRST GIRLS RAISES £4.5M SERIES A
Leading women in tech invest £4.5m to help Code First Girls support even more women to enter the tech industry
We are so excited to announce that we have secured £4.5 million in investment for Code First Girls from inspirational female tech leaders and a leading investment firm, Active Partners. This will mean Code First Girls will be able to teach even more women how to code and provide even more job opportunities in the tech industry. We also have some really exciting expansion plans involving tech platforms, building on our community, hiring more amazing talent, and growing international markets!
This is a vote of confidence from major figures in tech, who are also passionate about solving the tech gender gap and will help us bring our work to even more businesses. At the moment, our courses are, on average, 600% oversubscribed – and this boost will mean anyone who wants to break into the tech industry can.
Having the support of household names means that more women from all over the world can join the community, and we can support the next generation of young women to learn the skills they need.
We’ll use this investment to work towards our goal of providing over one million opportunities for women to learn to code for free and enter the industry over the next five years, driving a huge £1 billion in economic opportunities for women and a boost for the entire sector.
As part of our ambition to provide those opportunities to women, alongside free online courses at every stage of the pipeline, we also plan to put over 26,000 women through our ‘CFGdegree’ and place them into tech roles over the next five years.
In case you were wondering, the funding comes from consumer-focused investment firm Active Partners and prolific female angels including a former director of Bumble and CEO and Founder of Peanut, CEO of notonthehighstreet.com, former VP of Monzo and Co-Founder and COO of Stealth, CEO and Founder of the UpGroup, and COO of MoneyBox.
Active Partners, the lead investor, boasts an impressive portfolio of well-known brands including Leon, Rapha, Soho House, and Honest Burgers. The funding round has also attracted support from CEOs and COOs of leading companies like Bloom & Wild.
We’re growing at an incredibly fast pace, with businesses, government and universities across the country getting on board because they recognise that we’ve found a model that works. We couldn’t have taught 80,000 people how to code for free without you, and we can’t wait to open up the opportunity to even more women like you.
Anna Brailsford, CO-FOUNDER & CEO of Code First Girls, said:
“At Code First Girls, our mission is to close the serious, long-term gender gap in the tech industry by giving women the opportunity to learn to code and get jobs in tech, at no cost to them. We’re growing at an incredibly fast pace, with businesses, government and universities across the country getting on board because they recognise we’ve found a model that works.
“This funding round is a vote of confidence from major figures in the tech industry, who see our pioneering model as a solution to the tech gender gap. We’ll use this investment to provide one million opportunities for women to learn to code for free and enter the industry, driving a huge £1 billion in economic opportunities for women and a boost for the entire sector.”
Alice Bentinck, Co-Founder of Code First Girls, said:
“Code First Girls is special because it’s practical. Our DNA is all about doing – providing young women with the practical skills, confidence, and community to break into the tech world and progress through it.
“It’s a privilege to continue being a bridge between organisations who are keen to improve diversity and women who want to be an active part of the tech sector.
“Anna’s work scaling the business has created the next era of Code First Girls, and I’m excited for its future building up more female leaders of tomorrow.”
Matthew Clifford, Co-Founder of Code First Girls, said:
“There is a desperate need for more diversity in tech and we founded Code First Girls to deliver it. Following the success and astounding growth we’ve had, investors are clearly sitting up and taking notice. Their faith in our model will support us to significantly scale up the company and bring our work to more tech businesses.
“This is an exciting new chapter for Code First Girls, and we have ambitious plans to reach even more women, providing one million more opportunities for education and employment, turbocharging the tech industry and boosting the economy.”
And here are some messages from our supporters:
Tom Profumo, Investor at Active Partners, said:
“Traditional education providers are failing to address the significant tech talent shortages across the industry today, as well as the huge lack of diverse talent. Code First Girls offers the solution to this problem. By providing free coding courses for all women and supporting them into employment at some of the world’s biggest companies, Code First Girls is facilitating social mobility, boosting the diverse tech talent pool and addressing the tech skills gap.
“We have been very impressed by what Anna and the team have achieved so far and the company’s transformative impact on so many women’s lives. We look forward to joining Code First Girls on this exciting next phase of growth and supporting the team to achieve its mission to close the gender gap in the tech industry.”
Claire Davenport, CEO of notonthehighstreet.com, said:
“I passionately believe we need to give women more routes into the tech industry.
“There is still a fundamental inequality in terms of the encouragement girls receive to get into tech, access to learning and information, and the number of female role models in the sector. All of that works together to cut women off from future careers in tech and the many opportunities such careers can bring.
“I believe Code First Girls is providing a way of rebalancing that inequality, as well as boosting social mobility and giving women from every background the chance to get into a brilliant career. By opening up routes into the tech industry for women, whatever stage they are at in life, we are not only supporting women into rewarding roles but providing a huge injection of talent for the industry itself.”
Michelle Kennedy, CEO and Founder of Peanut, said:
“Investing in Code First Girls was one of the easiest investments I’ve made to date. Anna is an extremely impressive CEO who has a clear vision not only to train more women in order to secure roles in engineering and tech more broadly, but as importantly, to create a funnel to meet the demand from employers for world class talent. Another example that bringing women into tech is not solely about equality, it’s just great business.”
Clare Johnston, CEO and Founder of the Up Group, said:
“Supporting a fantastic female founder whose mission is to support helping more women to code and pursue a career in tech was an easy decision to make. Anna is building a fantastic business and I’m delighted to be involved.”
Rona Ruthen, Co-Founder and COO of a stealth mode start-up (former VP at Monzo), said:
“The tech industry is full of opportunity, but far too many women are still facing barriers to entry. I’m delighted to support Code First Girls as it plans to scale up and provide more women with routes into this exciting industry. As a Female Founder in tech, I’m passionate about boosting diversity and inclusion in the sector and empowering the female entrepreneurs of the future.”
Below you can find some of the announcement coverage we’ve had in the media so far!