Midven Backs Burgeoning Companies Targeting Skills Market

Edudo car photo23 July 2013

Two sister companies looking to expand further in the work-based learning sector have secured investment funding rounds from venture capital specialists Midven.

Midven’s Exceed Fund, whose investors include Lloyds Development Capital, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the European Regional Development Fund, has announced that it has provided growth backing totalling more than £500,000 for the two businesses.

Edudo Limited is a specialist vocational learning provider to the UK Government and industry, whilst Edududes Limited specialises in the development of apps to assist  work-based learning providers improve how they engage with their learners.

Since its foundation in 2011, Edudo has enjoyed significant and early market growth, building out a national footprint in the delivery of vocational qualifications for those who may be unemployed and seeking work as well as those who may wish to achieve critical qualifications in the workplace. To date, Edudo has already formally qualified and certificated more than 1,000 individuals.

The equity funds invested through Midven are intended to further accelerate the development and expansion of the company, which operates three divisions aimed at addressing very different aspects of the vocational education sector for learners of all ages, be they already in work and needing to improve their competencies, or simply if they need help to secure and sustain employment through the right level of skills support and timely intervention.

Sister company Edududes was established in 2012 as an online SaaS provider of an array of new and disruptive apps aimed at assisting those in the work-based learning sector improve how they engage with their c.2.3m customers annually and how they manage those engagement processes – processes which are, in the main, cumbersome, out-dated, time-consuming, and paper-based, sector-wide.

A range of online tools has been developed to date so end users, their employers and learning providers can engage digitally to cut through red tape so key compliance processes can be completed much more effectively, securely, cost efficiently and in real-time; freeing learning  providers, for example, to not only direct more of their Government funding receipts into generating learning outcomes but also to remove much of their need to collate the reams of paper typically used to support current industry-wide processes (a paper bill costing the sector an estimated c£126m annually).

Ronan Smith, founderand managing partner to both Edudo and Edududes, said both companies were ready for rapid growth, and Midven’s investment would help move both companies onto the next level.

He said: “In spite of recession, the markets for both Edudo and Edududes are huge, with Government spending on skills improvement in the UK running at c.£3.6 billion annually and UK corporate spend annually exceeding c.£30 billion.  Although clearly different to each other in focus, market offers and growth objectives, the individual presences and differentiated service offers of both companies represent the next generation for vocational learning services in the UK. We are very confident this investment will greatly accelerate our immediate growth plans.”

Surjit Kooner, investment director at Midven, said the progress both companies had already made, together with partnerships they had formed and their experience within the sector, meant they were ideally positioned to attract more large learning providers and gain significant traction whilst continuing to grow the business.

“Sector knowledge is key, and Ronan with his fellow partners Steve Henderson (Edudo) and Ken Flood (Edududes) have that in spades,” he said. “We are confident both businesses will continue to grow to plan.”