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Learning Pool Agrees to a Strategic Investment From Marlin Equity Partners, creating 100 new jobs

Picture detail. Left to right:

  1. Mark Lynch. Chief Product Officer. Learning Pool
  2. Louise McElvaney. Director of People & Performance. Learning Pool
  3. Kieran Rafter. Marlin Equity Partners
  4. Jan-Olivier Fillols. Marlin Equity Partners
  5. Dan Broadhurst. Marlin Equity Partners
  6. Steven Hargreaves. Marlin Equity Partners
  7. Paul McElvaney. Group CEO. Learning Pool
  8. Duncan Shores. Chief Commercial Officer. Learning Pool
  9. Ben Betts. Chief Executive Officer. Learning Pool
  10. Deborah Limb. Chief Operations Officer. Learning Pool

Pictured at the Marlin Equity office at Verde SW1, Victoria, London.

Marlin Equity Partners to Support Continued Investment Programme, Creating 100 New Jobs

Learning Pool, a strategic leader in the U.K. & U.S. learning technology markets, has today  agreed to a new investment from Marlin Equity Partners (“Marlin”), a global investment  firm with over $7.6 billion of capital under management, to support the company’s  continued growth. Under the terms of the agreement, Marlin will also acquire the  shareholding of Carlyle Cardinal Ireland.

Learning Pool’s integrated suite of digital learning products and services has enabled more  than 1,100 companies to migrate their training initiatives to modern cloud technology,  including global brands like The FA, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Sky, and Swiss Re. Learning Pool helps companies at every stage of the employee lifecycle, creating engaging  onboarding experiences, rigorous compliance training, and meaningful skills development  opportunities for more than 5 million learners every year.

Founded in Northern Ireland and currently ranked as one of the top 60 Large Best  Companies to work for in the U.K., Learning Pool’s expert workforce has grown to more than  260 employees across the U.K. and U.S. The Marlin investment will facilitate further job  creation with plans already in place to hire an additional 100 Learning Pool employees  across the group this year alone.

Since the initial investment from Carlyle Cardinal Ireland in 2016, Learning Pool has experienced dramatic growth as revenue has increased four-fold during this time. The  company has also been at the forefront of launching next-generation learning technology  products and has received multiple awards for outstanding customer service. In addition,  Learning Pool has made four acquisitions in four years, most recently acquiring U.S.-based  LMS expert, Remote Learner, which enhanced the company’s presence in the U.S. market. Marlin is expected to help accelerate growth both organically and through additional  acquisitions.

Speaking about the investment, Learning Pool Group CEO Paul McElvaney said, “Over the  past five years we have achieved phenomenal growth with the fantastic support of Carlyle  Cardinal Ireland, and we’re very grateful for the help and encouragement we’ve had from  the team. We’re delighted to have found the right partner to help us continue our  momentum and grow the Learning Pool brand globally. Marlin has an incredible heritage in  helping businesses like ours scale and innovate. We’re excited to be working with them and  confident that both our customers and our team will see immediate benefits from Marlin’s  investment. Learning Pool’s entire executive management team has re-invested in the  company, providing a compelling foundation upon which we’ll build the next phase of  growth.”

Jan-Olivier Fillols, a managing director at Marlin Equity Partners, said: “Learning Pool has  achieved significant growth through its customer-centric philosophy and unique end-to-end  e-Learning proposition. We believe the business is extremely well-positioned to capitalize on  a highly attractive market opportunity, and we are excited to partner with an exceptional  team to drive both organic and inorganic growth together.”

Jonathan Cosgrave, Partner at Melior Equity Partners which advises the CCI fund on behalf  of Carlyle, said: “Learning Pool’s success in growing revenue and profits four-fold through  organic growth and acquisition, while tripling employee numbers and launching next  generation learning products, clearly demonstrate the potential of founder-led Irish  technology companies when partnered with an investor that facilitates a strong growth  environment. The performance of Learning Pool’s management team and employees has  been exceptional, and we wish them continued success for the future.”

John Dolan, Managing Director, Cardinal Capital Group said: Learning Pool has been a  great growth story for CCI. When we invested originally the company had 80 employees in  one office, predominantly servicing U.K. public-sector customers. It now has over 260  employees across six offices around the world, and with over 30% of the revenue coming  from North America. This is a classic example of the benefits we can bring to an Irish company willing to look west instead of east for accelerated growth. Paul and Louise  McElvaney are outstanding entrepreneurs who have built a fabulous culture where all  employees look after each other, which has been a huge asset to the company during the  COVID pandemic.”