A Manchester-based child development app is launching a £200,000 crowdfunding campaign.

My First Five Years was launched by Alistair Bryce-Clegg and Jennie Johnson MBE in 2021 to help the next generation of parents understand their child’s development.

The startup raised £800,000 in angel investment earlier this year having previously raised £1.4m in 2022 and £200,000 in seed funding in 2021.

The £200,000 crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube will be used to improve the technology in the company’s app and help launch it into other countries.

Johnson said they’d decided to go down the crowdfunding route because it will enable people to invest in the company for as little as £40 allowing more people to support the vision.

“We’ve already created a community of engaged parents on our various social platforms and since launching our subscription model at the beginning of this year have more than 1,000 paying members,” explained Johnson.

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“By launching a crowdfunding campaign we’re able to create a higher number of small shareholders, who also become advocates for our brand and purpose and further raise its profile.

“The investment will enable us to accelerate our product development. We have plenty of exciting features to come, including the evolution of our human-centered AI partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University.”

Johnson sold her previous business Kids Allowed to Kids Planet in January 2020 and came out of retirement to launch My First Five Years.

The startup has identified more than 2,600 skills and activities children may acquire in their first five years and has become a trusted source of information for parents and carers.

It can track a child’s learning journey across six streams of development, supported by thousands of activities and interactions, with access to a supportive community of fellow parents and experts from the company.

Johnson, herself a mother-of-three, said: “We’re not trying to make parenting harder, we’re trying to make it easier and more enjoyable. That’s why the app has a bank of more than 2,000 hints and tips to provide daily support and inspiration.

“It’s often the case with parenting that we repeat patterns that don’t serve us or our children, the app breaks those generational cycles.”

Parenting app My First Five Years raises £1.4m

The Crowdcube campaign launches in mid August. For more  information go to Crowdcube