Code First Girls, a female-founded, fast-growing UK business that supports women into coding education and employment for free, has completed a £4.5m Series A fundraise.

The money will be used to accelerate the company’s ambition to provide one million opportunities to women to learn how to code and secure a job in tech over the next five years.

The funding comes from consumer-focused investment firm Active Partners and several prolific female angels including a former director of Bumble and CEO and Founder of Peanut, CEO of, former VP of Monzo and co-founder and COO of Stealth, CEO and founder of the UpGroup, and COO of MoneyBox.

Active Partners, the lead investor, boasts an impressive portfolio of well-known brands including Leon, Rapha, Soho House, and Honest Burgers.

The funding round has also attracted support from CEOs and COOs of leading companies like Bloom & Wild.

There is a stark gender gap in the tech industry, with women making up just 21 per cent of the UK’s tech industry and black women making up less than 3 per cent.

As part of its ambition to provide one million opportunities to women, alongside free online courses at every stage of the pipeline, Code First Girls plans to put over 26,000 women through the ‘CFGdegree’ and place them into tech roles over the next five years.

Founded by Alice Bentinck MBE and Matthew Clifford MBE, who also co-founded startup accelerator Entrepreneur First, Code First Girls has been transitioning in recent years from a social enterprise to a rapidly accelerating profit-making business.

Anna Brailsford (pictured), CEO of Code First Girls, said: “At Code First Girls, our mission is to close the serious, long-term gender gap in the tech industry by giving women the opportunity to learn to code and get jobs in tech, at no cost to them.

“We’re growing at an incredibly fast pace, with businesses, government and universities across the country getting on board because they recognise we’ve found a model that works.

“We’re proud of both our social and commercial impact, having already taught 80,000 women to code for free, linking talent with jobs, and having recently 10xed our revenue and user base. Our next goal is to become the world’s first EdTech unicorn dedicated to women.

“This funding round is a vote of confidence from major figures in the tech industry, who see our pioneering model as a solution to the tech gender gap. We’ll use this investment to provide one million opportunities for women to learn to code for free and enter the industry, driving a huge £1 billion in economic opportunities for women and a boost for the entire sector.”

Former LinkedIn exec appointed Code First: Girls CEO

Claire Davenport, CEO of, said: “I passionately believe we need to give women more routes into the tech industry.”

Michelle Kennedy, CEO and founder of Peanut, said: “Investing in Code First Girls was one of the easiest investments I’ve made to date. Anna is an extremely impressive CEO who has a clear vision.”

Rona Ruthen, co-founder and COO of a stealth mode start-up (former VP at Monzo), said: “The tech industry is full of opportunity, but far too many women are still facing barriers to entry. I’m delighted to support Code First Girls as it plans to scale up and provide more women with routes into this exciting industry.”