Liverpool education tech firm SupplyWell which links schools with supply teachers via an app secures £1m in new investment. Tony McDonough reports
A Liverpool digital venture that helps schools cut the cost of hiring supply teachers has raised £1m of new investment.
SupplyWell, based in Liverpool city centre, was formed in 2019 by former teacher Michael Heverin, recruitment specialist Raina Heverin and marketer and technologist Dan Price.
Michael had worked as a teacher for 15 years but the pressures of the job prompted him to take his career in another direction.
Using a digital platform, SupplyWell’s algorithms aim to match the right teacher, teaching assistant or cover supervisors with the right school. Traditional private sector supply teacher recruitment businesses can typically take up to 50% in fees.
Michael recognised there needed to be a fundamental change in the way schools and recruitment agencies functioned to support the needs of teaching staff.
With more than 20 staff, SupplyWell, is already working with around 70 schools mainly in Liverpool city region. This new investment will support its growth elsewhere in the UK and the firm is now operating in Manchester and Cardiff.
In July 2021, SupplyWell secured £500,000 of investment, £350,000 of which came from Liverpool-based MSIF. In October 2022 it set out to raise more finance and received a pledge of £500,000 from the Development Bank of Wales (DWB).
That was dependent on match-funding. However, that investment has not gone ahead. The business received a £200,000 cash investment from existing investors at DCW Ventures, led by Carl Wong.
Now it has secured another £800,000 via James Phillips at Oberon through the consulting arm Elevix. This process allowed them access to high net worth individuals who have provided angel investment.
Despite what it describes as “challenging market conditions”, SupplyWell’s annual revenues have already hit £1m and the founders are upbeat about its prospects.
Michael said: “Rob Jones of RJF Accountants recommended James Philips at Oberon Investments. James really helped us get fundraising ready through the consulting arm Elevix.
“The process they follow made all the difference. This investment allows us to scale into new regions, bringing real solutions to schools beyond the Liverpool city region.
“It will help us help school leaders not only make their budgets go further through predictive data but to add real value to their students’ outcomes and the wider school community.
“At the same time, we can create more consistent, flexible and better-paid job opportunities for teachers.”