Firefly Secures Another USD6.7M Funding

Firefly, a UK based start-up company that develops virtual learning platforms, has secured
€5.8 million (about $6.7 million) funding from Downing Ventures, BGF, and Beringea. Previously, the company secured the largest Series A funding for an EdTech company in the
UK, at £4.5 million.

The platform developed by Joe Matthewson and Simon Hay started out as an endeavor to
help their classmates and teachers access school information, homework and projects
online. Soon after, other schools started to use the platform for their students as it makes
the process of distributing tasks easier.

Through the years, the learning platform has been used by one million students in 40
countries around the world. Matthewson and Hay plan to expand their global operations in
a few more countries as well as develop a stronger presence in UK independent and state-
run schools.

As a suite, Firefly is full of tools that teachers, students, and parents can use. Like a Swiss-
knife, Firefly has become a fully functional platform for education. Teachers are able to share
activities and lesson plans with their students. Parents can monitor their children’s progress.
Students can also directly interact with teachers through messaging.

In an interview, Hay expressed that developing the platform and inviting more partners
would help empower teachers, students, and parents to use the platform to reach their
potential. Through the tool, the student’s experience with education is supercharged as it
allows them to access the things they need on the go.

Firefly has been described as an “effective and easy-to-use tool that connects teachers,
parents and students and ultimately enhances the educational experience for young people,”
by Simon Calver, the head of Venture Investments at BGF.

Educational technology is one of the fastest growing industries in the world today. With
small start-ups like Firefly leading the way in making educational platforms that make
learning fun, efficient and accessible, the future of education is one that is worth looking
forward to.

EdTech improves learning for everyone

Incorporating EdTech into classrooms makes learning fun for students as it allows teachers
to host live polls, quizzes and educational games. Using laptops, mobile phones, and tablets
have been known to make learning enjoyable as it encourages students to learn proactively
by participating in lessons and collaborating with their peers.

Student’s progress can also be regularly monitored by teachers. Each entry made by the
student is graded automatically and then recorded so that trends in the student’s
performance can be derived. This can give educators the opportunity to personalize lesson
plans for their students and address the areas that the student needs to be working on to
improve overall performance.

Using the internet also means that information is readily available for students to access.
Search engines have made it easier for everyone to search for what they need online. These
could be from free online resources to paid services that could enhance the learning
experiences of the students. The internet is a treasure trove of resources for learning.

Through the internet, collaboration is made easier as services like Google Docs allows
working on documents simultaneously together with peers. These changes are being
tracked as they are being worked on so it would not be too difficult to see changes made by
the students to the original document.

Integrating all these technologies and methods into teaching can greatly enhance the
teachers and student’s experiences. Grades can now be sent directly to a student’s device.
Live polls can be hosted with students answering them using their mobile phones. The
possibilities are endless. The only real challenge to incorporating TechEd into the classroom
is whether students and their teachers have the capacity to effectively use the software and
the added costs of maintaining and owning a device that can access all the services that
TechEd has to offer.

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