L/R: Director of Schoop Chris Hamblin, Inspire Wales’ James Henderson and Founder and Director of Schoop Paul Smith.
Investment group InspireWales has invested in a multi-lingual app for schools, nurseries, charities, sports clubs and community services called Schoop to improve communication and engagement.
Schoop was founded by Paul Smith, who was frustrated with the lack of communication from his children’s school.
He devised the idea of the Schoop app, which helps teachers engage with families in the education of their children and helps schools save money by providing all school communications, calendars and forms in one simple app.
InspireWales is investing £200k in the business, as well as providing sales and marketing support for the company through its investor network.
The InspireWales investment consortium is made up of 20 of Wales’ top entrepreneurs, including Hayley Parsons, founder of GoCompare and Simon Powell, founder and CEO of software development company Comtec.
It aims to support exciting and ambitious start-ups, early stage and growth businesses.
As part of the investment, InspireWales member and managing director of
Schoop founder, Paul Smith, said: “We have already had a great reaction to Schoop and we are an integral part of many school’s relationships with parents, but the investment from InspireWales means that we can take the business to the next level. We plan to double our customer base in the next 18 months.
“The fact that investors of such high calibre are also investing in Schoop gives us the confidence to escalate our growth plans.
“Education is still our main customer, but the platform can also help many other private sector clients, large organisations who want to communicate with its clients or customers.
“We are already working with Arriva Trains Wales and Cardiff Bus. We are looking forward to seeing what the future holds with the mentoring and support of InspireWales.”
InspireWales fund manager James Henderson explained why Schoop was an attractive proposition for the consortium: “Schoop is an established and profitable business with a solid customer base and a very interesting product.
“It is already solving some clear problems for schools around the speed of communication and response rate, and bringing parents much closer to the education process.”
“A lot of InspireWales members are from the tech arena and were able to identify some key areas where Schoop could really differentiate itself and solve a lot more communication and community issues on one simple platform.”
Between them, the InspireWales members have decades of business experience across many sectors, from technology, finance and travel, to name but a few.
All members of Inspire Growth Wales are Welsh or have a connection to Wales and are committed to helping the economy and start-up community in Wales.
InspireWales is seeking pitches from entrepreneurs who are interested in investment to start their business or move it onto the next level, along with mentoring and guidance from InspireWales members.
Schoop was founded in 2013 by Paul Smith, who had 20 years of experience as a tech entrepreneur, working with the likes of Richard Branson and Chris Evans whilst leading digital production teams in media and radio for programmes such as TFI Friday and Virgin Radio.