Business talent management company Silent Edge has turned to institutional backer Rockpool Investments to secure growth capital.
The terms of the deal see Rockpool invest £1.8 million through Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) shares alongside a £400,000 venture loan.
Silent Edge will now continue to develop its technology platform aimed at helping businesses evaluate staff to provide skills development. Clients including Barclays and BT use Silent Edge to measure skills, knowledge and development.
The funding is the first external capital Silent Edge has secured, with engineering, HR, manufacturing, marketing, administration and management identified as new growth sectors.
Russell Ward, who set up Silent Edge in 2002 and serves as CEO, says, ‘We chose to work with Rockpool because of their sterling reputation and extensive network of contacts around the world.
‘Using our evidence-based approach, sophisticated platform, and new SaaS [software-as-a-service] offering, we intend to make the latest talent development technology accessible across the globe to a potential market we estimate to be worth over £1 billion.’
Rockpool, which has portfolio companies including Chicago Rib Shack and Airedale Catering Group, has now made seven investments during 2014 worth £24.2 million. Since the beginning of 2013, the firm has injected £56 million into 17 companies. It also utilises a number of tax relief schemes such as the aforementioned EIS, Business Property Relief (BPR) and Business Investment Relief (BIR).
Matt Taylor, founder and managing director at Rockpool, says that few businesses have the track record Kent-based Silent Edge possesses to back up growth plans.
‘With such a strong base of happy customers, it’s easy to see how Silent Edge can become one of the most exciting growth stories of the next five years,’ he adds. ‘Silent Edge is the sort of profitable growth company that exactly fits with Rockpool’s model.’