"Over the last few months, we have seen a huge uplift in the number of companies who are turning to elearning"
Steve Penfold, CEO of Elucidat
Based in Brighton, Elucidat was founded in 2013 and has in the region of 300 clients around the world, including many blue-chip companies, that have used the platform to produce business- critical training that has reached more than 18m learners. Customers include Tesco PLC, Benefit Cosmetics, BDO and the National Trust. Following a £3.5m investment by YFM Private Equity in 2019, the company has accelerated its growth strategy, scaling up its marketing and sales functions and opening an office in the US.
“With the power of digital technology now being harnessed in so many aspects of the work environment, we enjoy a very positive market dynamic as large, international organisations have come to realise that they need to take their training online,” explains Steve Penfold, CEO of Elucidat. “While initially the COVID outbreak caused some disruption to our sales pipeline with global businesses delaying their buying decisions, it also brought into stark relief that many companies are having to completely rethink how they now deliver their existing face-to-face training programmes in an online environment.
“Over the last few months, we have seen a huge uplift in the number of companies who are turning to elearning, recognising that it will help drive down the cost of business-critical training. One of the key differences about our platform is that it is super easy to use – it has been designed to enable unskilled users, with no previous experience, to produce business-critical training.
“In April, we responded to the lockdown by quickly putting together a free ‘Digital Learning Skill-Up’ programme with tools and practical advice to help face-to-face trainers adapt to blended online learning. While we expected a few hundred people to sign up, we actually had over 1,500 sign ups! We’re also launching a ‘Learning Accelerator’ tool next month which recommends pre-built blueprints to make it much easier and roughly four times faster to produce great elearning. This is particularly powerful for those who have never created elearning before.”
Steve continues, “One of the many far-reaching impacts of the post-COVID world is the need for leading businesses not only to demonstrate compliance with new regulations enabling safe working conditions for employees, but also to go a step further and implement additional training in health and safety to ensure that measures are genuinely effective and so reduce risk. We see ourselves as ‘empowering experts’ who help build more successful and more ethical businesses through people-centred training as our platform enables companies to effectively crowdsource training from across their business.”
James Savage, partner at YFM, added: “When we invested in Elucidat last year, we recognised that it was a successful company with a clear product road map and a strong management team meaning that the business had real potential. Given that the shift from face-to-face training to online delivery brings many benefits with it, including opportunities to increase speed to train, reduce costs and enable more people to share and access knowledge, we saw they were in a growing market.
“Since our investment, we’ve seen steady growth with turnover increasing by almost 20% since summer 2019. The business now has the growth capital needed to enable further expansion into the US and accelerate sales. The team has been further strengthened with the recruitment of an extremely experienced non-executive director and a very able CFO, and we have brought our usual challenging, but supportive role to the relationship. We have been hugely impressed with how Elucidat has navigated through the COVID crisis, and by the professionalism of the organisation. The business is now in an excellent position to build on its upward trajectory, helping medium and large companies to seamlessly transition to digital learning.”