Connect Childcare has named a new chairman after securing £4 million investment.
Bill McCall will replace Ashvin Pathak, who spent nine years in the role, as chair of the nursery software specialist following the new funding from Mobeus Equity Partners.
The investment will allow Connect Childcare to roll out a Software-as-a-Service solution, launch a new streamlined payment offering, accelerate functionality for existing users and strengthen its sales, marketing and customer success teams.
Connect Childcare, based in Nelson, Lancashire, supports 14 of the top 25 UK nursery chains, nurseries and pre-schools, serving more than 3,000 locations.
Directing more than 60 companies throughout his investment banker career, McCall has chaired three successive childcare groups – Careshare, Asquith Nurseries and Giraffe – and is principal of strategic corporate finance advisory business McCall and Partners.
“This funding gives us both security for our customers – because it shows we’re here for them and will be continuing to innovate and enhance their platforms – and also for our staff. We know we can deliver our plans,” said CEO Chris Reid.
The firm is set to launch as new SaaS platform, called ‘foundations’, in the first quarter of 2021, which is intended to target smaller childcare providers initially.
The solution has been developed from the ground up to help Early Years (EY) employees decrease their paperwork and log child events – such as meals and sleep – more easily.
Despite a challenging 2020 for the EY sector as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Connect Childcare has continued to provide ongoing support to its customers – including financial assistance, the streamlining of parent processes, and launching both home-schooling app ParentHub and nursery-focused admin platform, StaffPlan.
Reid continued: “It was a tough year for everyone as we all faced so much uncertainty. We too were forced to make difficult decisions, with limited information, and we had to be resilient.
“Some of our innovations in 2020 have proved to be vital in how customers have been able to tackle further unpredictability this year. By focusing on the areas that would deliver to customer needs in real-time – and adding value to our existing platforms – we’re on the front foot for 2021.”
Rowan Grobler, investment manager for Mobeus, who will be joining Connect Childcare’s board, said: “I’m excited to be backing such a high-quality team that has demonstrated both a long-term, customer-focused strategy as well as agility and focus during the pandemic.
“This is a fantastic time to be investing in Connect. The business has a well-established, market-leading position and is now seeking to capitalise on that by commercialising and rolling out new generation solutions to its committed client base and beyond.”