Edtech start-up raises £500,000 in latest funding round

Welsh education technology firm Simply Do Ideas has raised £500,000 in a funding round led by angel investor Ashley Cooper and the Development Bank of Wales.

Founded in 2015, the company has developed a range of solutions to help people build and test their ideas. Lee Sharma set up the firm “after seeing the frustrations that start-ups and existing organisations faced in taking a raw idea through to execution”.

Since launching, it’s created a range of cloud-based, B2B software-as-a-service and business-process-as-a-service platforms. They’ve been commented by the likes of the Huffington and Forbes.

And last year, the firm was chosen as one of Innovation Point’s Digital Dozen, a group of Welsh technology companies that are set to generate a combined turnover of £100 million by 2020.

Sharma said his firm is helping people who have creative and innovative mindsets. “Our technology is unlocking the entrepreneurial behaviours of individuals, organisations and communities by digitally bringing people together,” he explained.

“This opens up access to previously untapped resources, ideas and solutions while seamlessly bridging the gap between industry and academia.”

Simply Do Ideas will use the money to expand its product portfolio and reach new customers. “Our plan is to become the de facto choice for organisations looking for a simpler way to support early-stage innovation,” revealed Sharma.

“With the support of these funds and the fantastic investor group behind us, we will continue to grow our market share and cement our position between industry and academia.”

Seasoned tech entrepreneur and investor Ashley Cooper led the round, along with Catalyst Growth Partners co-founder Philip Roberts; energy-saving entrepreneurs Andrew Diplock and Gruff Dodd; and industrial technology entrepreneur Phil Buc.

Cooper said: “Being able to capture ideas in a cross-stakeholder collaborative fashion and then to crowdsource the solution allows businesses to grow at an increased rate. The Simply Do Ideas product is a brilliant tool to stimulate and manage this innovation activity.

“This group are the epitome of smart capital bringing expertise and funding to stimulate business growth. We look forward to helping Simply Do Ideas to grow at pace.”

Carmine Circelli, who led the investment for the Development Bank of Wales, added: “We are pleased to support Simply Do Ideas in what is set to be rapid growth.

“Capturing innovation is key to any growing business and we look forward to the impact Simply Do Ideas can have on the growth of businesses in Wales, the UK and internationally. The investor group in Simply Do Ideas has significant shared experience which will be of huge benefit.”