Derry company Learning Pool creates 100 new jobs through Marlin Equity investment

100 new jobs are to be created at Derry firm Learning Pool across its international sites following an major investment by Marlin Equity Partners.

Learning Pool has grown to become a leader in the U.K. & U.S. learning technology markets, and today announced 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.

It is expected the posts will be created this year across Learning pool’s different operations.

Learning Pool, which is headquartered in Derry city centre, is a full-service online training provider to workplaces around the world, offering learning courses, platforms, analytics and custom content development services to over 1,100 organizations and 5.1 million learners. These include global brands like The FA, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Sky, and Swiss Re.

Pictured left to right are: Mark Lynch. Chief Product Officer. Learning Pool, Louise McElvaney. Director of People & Performance. Learning Pool, Kieran Rafter. Marlin Equity Partners, Jan-Olivier Fillols. Marlin Equity Partners, Dan Broadhurst. Marlin Equity Partners, Steven Hargreaves. Marlin Equity Partners, Paul McElvaney. Group CEO. Learning Pool, Duncan Shores. Chief Commercial Officer. Learning Pool, Ben Betts. Chief Executive Officer. Learning Pool, Deborah Limb. Chief Operations Officer. Learning Pool, at the Marlin Equity office at Verde SW1, Victoria, London. (Picture by Paul Clarke)

Learning Pool helps deliver compliance training, skills development opportunities for more than five million learners / employees within companies every year.

The Derry firm currently ranked as one of the top 60 Large Best Companies to work for in the U.K., and its 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.

Under the terms of the agreement, Marlin will also acquire the shareholding of Carlyle Cardinal Ireland.


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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.


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“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.”

Over the last twelve months, the company has been featured on 14 eLearning Industry lists for excellence in learning platforms and content creation and achieved a double-award win at the Brandon Hall Excellence Awards, including Gold for Technology Innovation. Learning Pool also won double Gold in the Stevie Awards for Customer Service, was announced as ‘World Class’ to work for in the 2021 Best Companies accreditation program and became the only Strategic Leader to offer a Lower Total Cost of Ownership in the 2021 Fosway 9-Grid for Digital Learning.

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