Talis Capital Announces Strategic Investment in Learning People & Appointment of Senior Adviser to the Board

PRESS RELEASE

·       Investment will fund the expansion of the firm’s B2C and B2B offerings

·       Appointment of Mr. Tony Glass to the Board as a senior adviser

London, UK, 17 September 2018 – Talis Capital (Talis), a London-based venture capital firm focused on technology companies, today announced an investment of $2.5million into Learning People, the UK’s leading online training company, and SkillsFox, its B2B arm serving corporate training and development needs. The investment comes at a time when online training courses are experiencing significant growth, with companies’ demanding specialist skill sets such as cyber-crime prevention for current and potential employees.

The Talis investment will be used to fuel the companies’ geographical expansion, developing an engaging, user-centric platform and building the range of innovative products for both individual and corporate clients.

Launched in 2010, Learning People was founded as a consumer-facing business, providing world-class training and examinations; recognised by a diverse range of exam boards in information security, project management, coding, IT and digital marketing. Over the last four years, more than 15,000 students have enrolled on to its courses. During this time, the company has significantly expanded course material to customers and has stayed at the forefront of the changing needs of the jobs market, equipping customers with the skills they need to get ahead in their careers.

With the global corporate training market alone estimated to grow at a CAGR of 9.79% over the next four years, the launch of SkillsFox aims to capture the significant opportunity here and equip businesses, from SMEs to some of the world’s largest companies, with the tools to upskill their workforce in critical areas such as cyber security, cloud, IT, project management, compliance and leadership skills.

Talis is also excited to announce that Tony Glass has joined Learning People and SkillsFox as a member of the Advisory Board. In this role, Mr. Glass will actively provide day-to-day senior counsel to both businesses, drawing on his experience from a distinguished career in the learning and development industry. Formerly the General Manager EMEA of Skillsoft, the world’s largest online training company, Mr. Glass brings in more than 25 years of leadership, management and operational experience in the sector. Prior to leading Skillsoft EMEA, he was Managing Director of General Physics UK training division (now GP Strategies) and Managing Director of Best Practice at ILX Group.

According to the UK Government’s digital skills crisis report, it is estimated that around 90% of jobs require digital skills to some degree, and that the skills gap costs the UK economy around £63 billion in lost income a year. In addition, the cybersecurity workforce continues to suffer severe work shortages, with the demand expected to rise to 6 million individuals globally by 2019.

Patrick Aylmer, CEO of the Learning People, said: “We are excited to partner with Talis, whose expertise in the tech space will be invaluable as we seek to build out our business and further develop our B2B offering. SkillsFox has seen us enter into a space in which we are convinced we can provide invaluable services to employers, allowing them to upskill and retain talent whilst increasing productivity across the workforce. The introduction of Tony will be invaluable for the team as we continue to experience rapid growth on the UK and international markets. His ability to scale businesses to serve top-level customers in both B2C and enterprise sectors will bring tremendous value

In a competitive space, Learning People has distinguished itself as a market leader, establishing a strong brand and an enviable reputation as a highly-trusted training provider,” said Vasile Foca, Managing Partner at Talis. “The speed of development in technology is disrupting the way people work, both positively and negatively. One of the results is that employees need to gain skills in which they have no experience, or which do not yet exist. Learning People are uniquely positioned to meet the existing demand for knowledge and respond to future technological shifts in demand such as the fast-evolving data security sector. We greatly look forward to partnering with Patrick, Tony, and the whole team as they embark on this next phase of growth.”