NPIF - Maven Equity Finance leads GBP250,000 investment in Digital Training Solutions
NPIF – Maven Equity Finance, managed by Maven Capital Partners (Maven) and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, has invested in Bolton-based e-learning company, Digital Training Solutions (DTS).
A total of GBP125,000 was invested from NPIF – Maven Equity Finance with a further GBP125,000 invested by the Angel investment division of The Growth Company, GC Angels. The funding will enable the business to continue to develop its software, support its marketing strategy and create up to 17 new jobs over the next two years.
DTS delivers innovative eLearning content development that combines realistic video scenarios with interactive gaming technology, called ‘Near-Life’. Near-Life allows users to experience immersive, role-play style training which enhances engagement and knowledge retention at a fraction of the cost of traditional scenario-based learning. Its cutting-edge technology brings a gaming approach to training, the business creates bespoke courses, collaborates with existing training providers and offers Near-Life as an eLearning solution for content creators. The business has an impressive client list including St John’s Ambulance, ASDA, Jones Lang LaSalle and the NHS.
The global eLearning market is forecast to grow 7.2 per cent to reach approximately USD325 billion by 2025. UK employers spend GBP3.14 billion on external training and approximately 9 per cent (GBP286 million) of that amount is spent on e-learning. With demand for innovative e-learning methods increasing as employers find new ways to engage staff in corporate training there is a high volume of training opportunities available.
The management team includes Mike Todd, Founder and CEO, an award-winning film maker whose work has bas been screened both in the UK and internationally, including on the BBC, ESPN and PBS. Prior to founding his own business in 2005, Mike worked as a consultant carrying out extensive work for, among others, the UK Government’s Department of International Development (DFID/UKAID), the Co-operative Group and Manchester’s Economic Development Agency. Geseth Todd, COO, has extensive experience in developing and delivering online platforms. Having held positions at The Co-operative Group and United Nations (UN) Geseth has supported the development and roll-out of multiple bespoke systems, as well as being involved in numerous media production projects.
Mike Todd, CEO of Digital Training Solutions, says: “We’re delighted to have received this show of support from the Maven team and the Growth Company. It’s an exciting time for EdTech and we’re looking forward to using this investment to take our innovation to the next level.”
Dave Furlong, Investment Manager at Maven says: “DTS is a pioneer in near-life technology developing impressive software for a range of industries that benefit from their gaming approach to training. We’re delighted to support Mike and the team, and we look forward to working alongside the company as they enter their next phase of growth.”
Mark Hughes, Group CEO at The Growth Company, says: “GC Angels is pleased to complete its ninth deal since the Co-Investment fund launched. DTS is a company with enormous potential, both in the UK and internationally. Its innovative training technology, utilising Augmented and Virtual Reality, is disrupting the market, and the work done by the company is already generating awards and attention from around the globe.
“The business is a brilliant example of how The Growth Company and its services interlink to support economic development across the North West. DTS has gone through a full journey with GC, from start-up loan to this round of equity investment, as well as numerous training and development programmes. GC Angels was designed to address the imbalance in the market, with only one in 10 VC deals to mixed founders, so being able to support a mixed founded team is extremely pleasing.”
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.