Student engagement platform secures funding for North American expansion

An Edinburgh company whose software platform helps universities to engage and recruit students has secured £1.8m investment from Mercia Fund Managers, the Scottish Investment Bank’s Co-Investment Fund and existing angel investors.

This latest funding round will allow GeckoLabs to more than double the size of its team and expand its operations in North America. It brings the total raised by the company to £3m.

Gecko’s student engagement platform GeckoEngage allows universities to capture, manage and follow up with prospective students, and is used by over 50% of the UK higher education market including leading names such as Cambridge, St Andrew’s, Edinburgh and Durham Universities. The company also has almost 30 clients in the USA and Canada.

Established in 2012 by Matt Lanham, who had previously run a digital agency, Gecko now has a 27-strong team in Edinburgh. The funding will allow Gecko to continue developing new products and open an office in New York to increase market share in North America. It plans to create an additional 10 jobs in the UK and 28 new roles in US and Canada.

Matt Lanham, CEO, said: “With the launch of our chatbot earlier this year, we’ve seen a real upsurge in interest from both existing users and from higher education institutions we don’t yet work with.  This investment will help us to capitalise on that interest and innovate further in terms of product development.”

Marcus Henderson, Investment Manager at Mercia, said: “Gecko has a proven product with a loyal customer base and is now entering a critical phase in which it has the opportunity to scale the business in the North American market. This investment will support it through its next phase of growth and development. We will be working closely with the entire Gecko team to help them achieve this successfully.”

Kerry Sharp, Director of Scottish Investment Bank, said: “We are delighted to invest alongside our Scottish Co-Investment partner Mercia Fund Managers in this exciting business as we jointly work with it to realise its growth potential.  For Scottish Enterprise, the company offers not only the prospect of new Scottish based job opportunities but also increases the export capabilities for Scotland’s business base.  We look forward to working with them on their exciting journey and wish them well for the future.”

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