Further expansion at Derry firm Learning Pool

Mary McKenna, Learning Pool, and Gary Gallagher, Paper Bag.

Mary McKenna, Learning Pool, and Gary Gallagher, Paper Bag.

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A Derry-based e-learning firm is to expand its growing portfolio with the acquisition of a mobile apps agency which has offices in London and Belfast.

Learning Pool, which employs 50 people at its HQ in the former City Factory at Patrick Street, has just taken over Paper Bag which provides mobile strategy, user experience and development services to companies across the world.

Learning Pool says it plans to use its latest acquisition to accelerate the delivery of mobile services to its 300 plus customers.

Learning Pool’s co-founder Paul McElvaney says: “We’re delighted to be able to bring the Paper Bag team into our portfolio. We’ve been impressed at what this start-up has achieved and we are confident that the expertise and talent in Paper Bag can help us bring truly innovative solutions to our customers.

“Mobile learning is clearly a growth area and many of our competitors are struggling to get to grips with the useful offerings in this space. This acquisition gives Learning Pool the opportunity to jump to the forefront of mobile learning and we’re really excited about the opportunity that this brings.”

Learning Pool says that, this year alone, it will help its customers to train more than one million people on its learning platform.

Paul McElvaney adds: “Our customers are serious about managing their talent and improving performance in a proactive and efficient way. Increasingly this means providing just in time, just enough training to people no matter where they are. Our strategy is to extend our platform to make this easy to do and we’re excited about bringing solutions to our customer base with Paper Bag’s help.”

Gary Gallagher, co-founder at Paper Bag, says that, with the backing of an organisation like Learning Pool, Paper Bag will “do what it does best - building great enterprise apps that will make a genuine impact for customers and pushing the boundaries of a mobile landscape that is dynamic and ever changing.”

“The roadmap for developments alongside the Learning Pool team is really exciting and we’re confident we can deliver great things in this arrangement,” he added.

Paper Bag say it will retain its own brand identity and will begin recruiting into the team very soon.

Learning Pool, which was set up in 2006 by Mary McKenna and Paul McElvaney, provides online learning services including hosted software, content and tools to more than 300 organisations.

It employs 50 people and has just moved into new offices in the city’s historic City Factory. The firm has been recognised by the “Deloitte Fast 50” as one of the fastest growing technology companies in Ireland and Britain in each of the last four years.