Humly is proud to announce a substantial investment from the investment companies Alfvén & Didrikson and Viking Venture. This investment is expected to propel Humly, the leading digital marketplace in the supply teaching industry, towards accelerating growth in its existing markets. Humly is the leading supply teacher marketplace for both the private and public sectors. The easy-to-use and well-functioning matching of teachers and educators enables nurseries and schools to fill short or long-term gaps, addressing the teacher shortage in Sweden and the UK. This investment underscores Alfvén & Didrikson’s and Viking Venture’s commitment to fostering innovation and shaping the educational industry for the better.
“Humly is in the business of empowering educators, affording them the liberty to choose their work hours, locations, and load. Our digital platform is making this autonomy a reality. By 2030, the void of a teacher may haunt as many as 69 million classrooms and nurseries. Yet, a single push of a button on our platform can pave the way for educators to find and seize jobs that echo their calling. This investment is the fuel propelling us on this ambitious journey”, comments Gustav Bild-Tofftin, CEO at Humly.
“We are impressed with Humly’s efficient marketplace and how closely they work with their customers to create a long-lasting and healthy business. It is a dedicated and humble team that we look forward to working with. The opportunities are huge and Alfvén & Didrikson’s experience from scaling growth companies internationally with existing investor Viking Ventures’ long software expertise is a good match with the Company’s needs going forward”, says Maria Åhr, partner at Alfvén & Didrikson.
Humly will focus on expanding in the UK market through continued M&A and thereby increase the network effects and strengthen the marketplace. Continued innovation and improved user experience will also be a focus area.
“It’s been a great pleasure to work closely with founders Gustav Bild-Tofftin and Kristoffer Persson and the rest of the great Humly team and follow their growth journey so far. The introduction of A&D as co-investor strengthens the team and proves that Humly is on the right path forward”, says Eivind Bergsmyr, partner at Viking Venture and Chairman of the Board of Humly.
About Humly Humly is the UK’s leading digital marketplace of supply teachers, empowering educators to control their resources. Humly is dedicated to bridging the supply gap to schools, nurseries, and educators across Sweden and the UK, including, Fareham, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Birmingham, Sheffield, Nottingham, Liverpool, Manchester, and Newcastle. For further information about the team and upcoming highlights please see. http://www.humly.co.uk
About Alfvén & Didrikson Alfvén & Didrikson is an active and long-term backer of passionate entrepreneurs and teams with international growth ambitions. Since the start in 2010, the firm has focused on making investments in fast-growing Northern European companies, such as Trustly, Quinyx, and Mentimeter. For further information about the team and the investments please see. http://www.alfvendidrikson.com
About Viking Venture Viking Venture is the lead investor in Humly. Viking Venture helps B2B software companies scale. The Viking community of over 20 companies offers a unique environment for exchanging knowledge, ideas, and experiences. http://www.vikingventure.com
In a move that underscores its commitment to empowering educators across the UK, Humly is excited to announce the acquisition of M2, one of North England’s premier education staffing businesses. Humly is proud to welcome the fifth acquired company into the family.
This acquisition signifies our company’s ambitious expansion goals in the UK, giving educators more autonomy and expanding its influence in key regions. “M2 was a strategic choice for us”, states Gustav Bild-Tofftin, CEO at Humly. “Their well-established presence in both the North West and the North East of England, combined with their reputation as a well-run, quality-driven business, makes them a perfect fit for our ethos”.
Humly’s CEO further emphasised the synergy between the two entities: “When entering the UK market 2 years ago, we sought companies that shared our vision and had a robust foothold in strategic regions. This acquisition, our fifth in a series of successful mergers, sets the stage for remarkable success, bringing our innovative solutions to even more schools, nurseries, and educators”.
Adding to this sentiment, Alex Shanks, Head of M&A at Humly, who was closely involved in the acquisition process, remarked, “M2 is not just a solid business; it’s a dynamic entity that continues to evolve and adapt in the ever-changing educational landscape. Humly has a proven M&A strategy through four acquisitions in the UK to date, with a presence in many regional markets. M2 fits the acquisition strategy perfectly with their locations, teams, and culture”.
Mark Birnie and Melissa Kumar founded M2, which has offices in Newcastle and Preston, and places teachers, teaching assistants, and tutors on a permanent and temporary basis into primary, secondary, and Special Education Needs (SEND) establishments. They focus on three regions, Newcastle, Cumbria, and Lancashire.
Mark Birnie and Melissa Kumar say: “We believe we have found the perfect match with Humly! Not only are we very culturally aligned, Humly has all the expertise and knowledge of technology in the education recruitment market that will work in synergy with M2’s well-established reputation to ensure an even more successful and efficient business where clients and candidates are at the forefront of everything we do. The future is very bright, as the world moves forward with technology, we will take the education recruitment industry to the next level with service, speed, and quality. We are excited to see M2 Education grow and the opportunities this brings to our staff to develop themselves further”
For further details about the acquisition or to delve deeper into Humly’s future endeavors in the UK, please reach out to:
Gustav Bild-Tofftin, CEO email@example.com
Humly is the UK’s leading digital marketplace of supply teachers, empowering educators to control their resources. Humly is dedicated to bridging the supply gap to schools, nurseries, and educators across Sweden and the UK, including, Fareham, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Birmingham, Sheffield, Nottingham, Liverpool, Manchester, and Newcastle. For further information about the team and upcoming highlights please see. www.humly.co.uk
M2 Education is a specialist teaching agency that places Supply Teachers, Cover Supervisors, Tutors, Teaching Assistants, Nursery Nurses, and other supply staff for schools and other educational establishments across the North of England
But thanks to your feedback, we realised we were falling short in how we communicate payment information.
Here’s what happened.
Our app doesn’t register last-minute cancellations, sickness pay, or other eleventh-hour adjustments that affect your actual pay. So this created differences between what the app communicated and what your payslip and bank account reflected.
And here’s how we fixed it.
The updated history view shows the days and hours you work and the actual amounts on your payslip. And it shows you the pay rate for each booking before and after the job starts.
“Our job is to make your life easier and better when using our platform,” said Humly Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer Kristoffer Persson. “Nobody knows the challenges you face better than you, so the most important resource in building a better app will always be you,”
The updated history view simplifies things, ensuring what you see is always what you get you’re paid.
Keeping a high profile
Another one of our core values is efficiency. But with so many tasks, checks, and renewals you’re required to keep up-to-date as educators, it’s easy to lose sight of them all.
The updated profile view gives you better control, ownership, and understanding of your data.
And by housing everything you need to keep track of post recruitment in one easy-to-access place, it makes it easier to keep on top of things.
Now, when a yearly task, such as Safeguarding, needs updating, you’ll know about it and what to do next within the app.
“Thanks to the data we get from talking and listening to educators, we’re able to grow and develop the Humly app so it always stays close to your needs. And it’s how we’ll always continue creating the best possible experience,” said Persson.
And all you need to do to get these new features is download our app update onto your mobile device.
So what’s next?
You tell us. What’s on your wish list? What can we do better?
Our doors are always open to make the Humly app what you need and more.
You see, every referral program ever designed encourages you to refer your friends. But just your friends.
Why is that?
You know people that aren’t your besties, right? Maybe they’re an acquaintance, colleague, or old-classmate. Or maybe they’re your mortal enemy, and you’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to get your sweet, sweet revenge.
The point is nobody has ever been crazy enough to encourage you to refer non-friends before…until now.
You decide who your friends and foes are because you decide how the £100 bonus gets paid out:
Keep it all for yourself? Cheeky
50/50 split? Fair play
Or give it all to them? Best. Friend. Ever
And all the referred educator has to do is join Humly, work just one day of one booking, and we’ll pay out the bonus the following Friday.
Only there’s a catch
And it’s a good one.
Your friend or foe will know what you chose. They’ll know if you gave them everything, split it 50/50, or kept it all for yourself.
Because we’ll tell them, of course. It’s only fair that way – and so much more fun. So whether you plan to keep the bonus or just have a laugh with friends, the truth will come out.
But however you decide, the point is you get to decide.
With our referral program the power of choice is yours
Is Refer a Friend or Foe a bit subversive? Sure.
Will it destroy lifelong friendships across the UK? We hope not!
But that’s not what it’s really about.
Because we didn’t set out to just create a unique referral program. We set out to create one that embodies Humly’s purpose: Empowering you.
Underneath it all, Refer a Friend or Foe doubles down on our effort to give educators full-career control – that’s the Humly way. By putting you in charge of your work life, it helps make your life work.
Because when you get to do what’s best for you, you do what’s best for you.
How far would you travel for work? Five miles? Ten?
If you’re like most people in the UK, it’s no more than 23 miles – round trip.
But imagine a 27-mile drive to an airport, a 94-mile flight over the ocean, a half-mile trip to work, and then all the way back – 240 miles in total.
Sounds like a schedule of a high-powered CEO or an actor shooting on location, doesn’t it? But not this time. Not even close.
Because this is the story of a brilliant nursery educator from Portsmouth who sacrificed time at home, time with friends and family, to do one of the most important jobs in the world – educating children.
This is the story of nursery nurse Millie Smales.
One of everything
Nearly 100 miles south of the UK lies the much smaller Channel Island of Alderney, part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey.
Its population is around 2,000. And it’s less than two miles long or wide. Alderney is one of those stunning, picturesque places where they have everything you’d ever need – but usually just one of them.
One post office.
Twenty-four restaurants and pubs (definitely still the UK).
One nursery responsible for helping to grow and develop the children of this stunning sea-on-every-side community. But in early January, this tiny-island nursery had a big problem. They needed a qualified nursery nurse – only none lived on Alderney.
So Humming Bees called Georgina Rogers at Humly South East in Hampshire to help find one.
Nursery Nurse Number 41
Georgina is a Humly sales consultant. She’s who schools and nurseries call when they need brilliant supply educators, and she’s responsible for making this entire story happen.
Only, it almost didn’t.
The director of Humming Bees asked Humly to find a supply nursery nurse whilst they began recruiting for a permanent replacement. “They knew it was a big ask and were prepared to pay for flights from Southampton to Alderney plus offer free accommodation at their on-site guest house. I explained we’d never supplied to the Channel Islands before but that it wouldn’t stop us from giving it a go,” said Rogers
Free flight, free accommodation, plus island living – you’d think this would be the easiest booking ever, right?
“I asked about 40 qualified nursery nurses who all lived close to Southampton Airport. But they all said no because of either family or other work commitments,” said Rogers.
Yet all hope wasn’t lost.
“Almost all of the nursery nurses said this was a brilliant opportunity,” said Rogers.
Georgina knew this was an amazing opportunity. She just needed the right person with the right flexibility. She needed Millie Smales, aka nursery nurse number 41.
“Millie was perfect. She’s young, lived with her parents, and had the freedom and commitment to do this. And I arranged for the Humming Bees Nursery Director to fly into Southampton to meet and escort Millie back to Alderney,” said Rogers.
But Millie’s willingness to leave home, do the job, and ensure these children get the education they deserve sets her apart.
And it’s why we had to have a chat with her.
Meet Nursery Nurse Millie Smales
Let’s start with the question we ask all our teachers and nursery nurses: Why did you become an educator?
I’d done work experience in nurseries as part of my health and social care course back in college and really enjoyed them a lot! And after I tried a year at uni, I realised my passion was in childcare. So I started an apprenticeship.
And how did you come to work with us at Humly?
I’d been working abroad for a while, and when I returned home, I wanted to get back into nurseries and found Humly on Google last November. I like the flexibility of supply work. You get to experience multiple locations and find the right fit and role for you.
Can you explain the mechanics of this experience? How often do you fly back and forth from Alderney to home?
Initially, I was only here for a week, so I flew in on a Sunday and then flew back that Friday afternoon. I then came back to work for two weeks, which got extended for a month. I was able to fly home, see family, and stock up on the things I’d need to live and work for a longer time frame. In total, I flew back and forth about five times since January.
How hard is it to be away from home, family and friends unexpectedly like this? This wasn’t a job you set out to do. It came to you.
I would say my main personal sacrifice in all of this has been not seeing my family. We’re very close. So it’s definitely been an adjustment for us, but we do our best to keep in touch regularly.
It’s interesting that you mention sacrifice. Because a sacrifice is what you make for something bigger than yourself, the greater good. And one of the things we talk about at Humly is the global educator shortage. Where up to 69 million classrooms and nurseries won’t have an educator by 2030. You wouldn’t think of this happening in the UK, but with a small locale like Alderney, it can and did. And without you, these children wouldn’t have someone to help them grow and develop. Has this experience changed your perspective on education and its vital importance?
Definitely – being on this island where Humming Bees is the only under-two childcare provider, it’s so important that these children get the socialisation of being in a nursery with other children and getting the necessary level of care from myself and the nursery team. We constantly give them new opportunities and experiences, which are so vital to their development at this crucial age.
After going through these months of working and sacrificing your time away from home but making a real difference in the lives of Alderney’s children, what are your biggest takeaways?
The best thing about this experience has definitely been working with such lovely children. But I can’t say enough about working with the brilliant Humming Bees nursery team. They’ve been so helpful, gracious, and welcoming throughout this amazing opportunity. And, of course, experiencing and exploring Alderney has been wonderful. I’d never even heard of it before coming here, but it is such a beautiful place to call home.
Millie Smale’s less-than-two-mile commute
It didn’t take long for Humming Bees to realise how amazing Millie is as an educator. That’s why they stopped recruiting for a permanent replacement – they had already found her.
“This opportunity was only meant to be for four weeks. But it kept getting extended and extended until they offered me the full-time deputy manager role – and I took it. I’ve grown to love living in Alderney and working at Humming Bees with my amazing children and team. And I’m excited to grow professionally, as I have never been in a management position before,” said Smales.
And while Millie’s story amazes us, it doesn’t surprise us at all. Not one bit.
Because Millie’s story is the educator’s story. It’s your story.
It demonstrates how you’ll go above and beyond for your job because it’s not just a job – it’s your calling. And whether you travel 240 miles or 2.4 miles, the real distance that matters is how far you’ll go to make a difference and improve the lives of the children you educate.
And it’s why Humly’s proud to be there with you – every step of the way.
With the successful migration of Newcastle-based Exact Education today, Humly takes the next step in building a company and brand that’s revolutionising education throughout the UK. Educators, schools and nurseries will now have access to local Humly hubs across the face of England: North, South, East, Midlands and West.
“As we now integrate Exact Education in Newcastle, all Humly employees should feel proud over the last 18 months of hard work, establishing ourselves in the UK through growth and other integrations. While we operate in multiple locations, we are one company. This is an impressive growth journey,” said Humly CEO Gustav Bild-Tofftin.
And it’s all powered by an innovative next-gen platform that gives educators, schools and nurseries a far better choice by offering the power of choice – and so much more.
Here’s how we did it.
Humly acquired Newcastle-based agency Exact Education back in May 2022 for many reasons – location, first-class talent, a proven track record of success – but it was a shared vision and values that made Exact exactly right for Humly.
“Exact Education was the perfect choice for Humly. Both leadership teams have the same vision and appetite to advance how education supply works in the region and the UK,” said former Exact Company Director and now Humly Head of M&A and Integrations Alex Shanks.
But beyond the big picture stuff, Humly has a secondary proven track record – bringing companies together the right way.
“Post-merger integration of a company is challenging, and defining a clear strategy is critical. Humly nailed this process in three previous acquisitions in the UK and had a clear process for the integration of Exact Education,” said Shanks.
And, as always, the proof is in the pudding.
In less than a year, Exact has gone from a Humly newcomer to our northern standard bearer through successful integration and migration of their business, systems and personnel.
“Over the last two months, we’ve geared up towards full integration, which involves an analysis of all processes and systems and how to bridge those gaps to form one amazing company,” said Shanks.
But with so much newness for educators, schools and nurseries to experience, it’s vital to continue the same excellent standard of service. Only that service won’t continue with Humly.
It will be better.
Humly North East: Same people, better service
One key reason Exact was right for Humly was its people, their passion for education and their second-to-none local knowledge. And adding that to Humly’s revolutionary platform and approach creates a force multiplier for educators, schools and nurseries.
“Introducing Humly’s digital marketplace will be a game changer. Placing power in the hands of educators to find, choose and book the jobs they want based on their preferences is the next generation of supply education,” said Shanks.
And it’s equally dynamic for schools and nurseries.
“The process of booking supply staff will be streamlined. Schools and nurseries can now add a booking directly to the Humly platform, and this will instantly go out to all suitable educators, offering a 24/7 service, something unique to our region,” said former Exact Education company director and now Humly Regional Manager Rachel Aird.
While Humly’s approach to education is revolutionary, it’s also technologically evolutionary.
“Say it’s Sunday evening, and a school or nursery is desperate for a supply educator Monday morning, they can add a booking to our app, and it will immediately go out to every educator with the app matching the requirement. Business hours are no more. Of course, schools and nurseries can still call or email us. But now we do both. I think that’s called the best of both worlds,” said Shanks.
And that’s what Humly offers to educators, schools and nurseries: The power of choice, the power of speed, and the power to utilise it all in whatever way works best.
“The world is becoming more and more digital. Having a cutting-edge app and platform, combined with the experience and dedication of the Exact Education team, will make Humly North East the place educators go to find work in schools and nurseries in the region,” said Shanks.
By combining first-class regional knowledge and experience with our innovative next-gen platform, Humly continues to offer educators, schools and nurseries a more dynamic service than the status quo agency models in the north, and everywhere else.
And that’s how you disrupt an entire industry.
“Our educators have full control of the jobs they can access and accept on the platform any time, day or night. They can manage every aspect of supply life via the app – bookings, pay, timesheets and training – all in one place,” said Aird.
And the growth journey continues.
There are no finish lines at Humly.
Because we never reach milestones. We sprint past them to the next one. And the next.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Exact over to the Humly family. Unifying under one single brand will create a positive impact on educators, schools and nurseries all over the UK. Our aim is to increase recognition of Humly’s brand and establish a clear, consistent image in the UK market. By combining our strengths, we become a superior force in the market. This move allows Humly to offer more than we ever have before and helps us stay ahead of the competition,” said Humly Chief Commercial Officer Kristoffer Hedram.
The United States of America uses a Latin phrase, E Pluribus Unum, as its motto: Out of many, we are one. But it may as well be ours. Out of many, we are one vision, one purpose, one Humly.
“From today onwards, we operate as one company, which means we all will start benefiting from all the investments we put into our service and the Humly way of empowering every eligible educator. This is a very good start to 2023, and we can now accelerate our organic growth ambitions,” said Bild-Tofftin.
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