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£1m supports Gecko Labs’ chat system

Matt Lanham

Matt Lanham: fixing a problem

Education software specialist Gecko Labs has received £1million to help roll out an innovative ‘live chat’ system connecting universities and potential students.

The investment, from existing and new angel investors, will fund 10 new positions to support business growth and increased demand for the firm’s products. It is opening an office in London and has plans to expand into the US.

The company has just announced its latest product Gecko Chat which provides university staff with a unified inbox that allows them to manage and respond to conversations happening across their website, Facebook, Twitter, SMS and email without having to be logged in to multiple systems.

Matt Lanham, founder and CEO, said “Instant messaging platforms are where students are spending more of their time, and that’s only going to increase with the rise of conversational user interfaces.

“Managing conversations across multiple networks is a nightmare for staff at the moment, and Gecko Chat fixes that by giving them a single login that allows for conversations to be managed regardless of the network the student chooses.”

Founded in 2012, Gecko Labs is headquartered in Edinburgh and currently employs 20 staff. 

As part of this funding round Gecko is opening an office in London to allow it to accelerate growth in the UK with a US office expected later in the year.

This round was led by Andrew Weisz, of Weisz Investments, and Tom Singh, founder of the New Look fashion chain. Many of Gecko’s existing investors also took part in the round.

Mr Lanham added: “To date, we have helped our clients capture more than one million enquiries from students and this funding will allow us to continue building further innovative products to support our clients and fuel our growth.

“Whilst there are hundreds of start-ups focusing on bringing innovation to the classroom, the universities’ back offices have been left behind with ageing software that doesn’t meet the needs of today’s student.”

Mr Singh said: “Gecko Labs has already achieved outstanding success in the UK and the opportunity is there to build on the interest coming in from educational institutes around the world.”

In September 2015, Gecko Labs announced it had received £250,000 to broaden its product range and create jobs. Funding was led by AngelLab through Andrew Weisz. The London Co-Investment Fund provided additional funding.

Shortly after start-up in 2012, the firm participated in ignite100, one of the UK’s top tech accelerator programmes, and graduated with investment from Northstar Ventures, IP Group and angel investors.

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