Derry's Learning Pool reveal growth surge after Marlin acquisition

E-learning company reports 89 per cent increase in employees and 45 per cent rise in revenue for 2021/22

Learning Pool's latest surge in growth saw its workforce grow by 89 per cent in a year.
Learning Pool's latest surge in growth saw its workforce grow by 89 per cent in a year.

DERRY-based online training provider Learning Pool has announced a year of significant growth after a US investor bought a majority share in the company.

Marlin Equity Partners bought out Carlyle Cardinal Ireland (CCI) in June 2021 in a deal that valued the business at around £150 million.

The fresh investment from Marlin helped Learning Pool significantly expand its workforce, which grew from around 260 in mid-2021 to more than 402 employees by the end of the 2021/22 fiscal year.

Learning Pool said revenues increased by 45 per cent to £32m in the year to April 30 2022, aided by the acquisition of New York-based True Office Learning in January 2022.

That US expansion contributed to a 235 per cent surge in North American revenue to £12.5m for the reporting period.

Learning Pool, which was jointly founded by Paul McElvaney, Louise McElvaney and Mary McKenna in 2006, said it added 350 new clients during the year to April 2022, including Lidl, AT&T, Hitachi, DHL, United Soccer Coaches, Pepsico, and Dow Jones.

That took its total client past 1,400 customers world-wide.

Subscription revenue in the year to April 2022 rose by 82 per cent to £26.2m.

Ben Betts, who became Learning Pool’s chief executive in late 2020, when the Derry firm bought the Oxford-based HT2 Labs, described the period as one of “tremendous change” for the company.

“North America was particularly exciting for us with new customers and colleagues from True Office Learning adding to significant organic growth,” he said.

“By the end of the year, nearly 40 per cent of all revenues came from the region and this momentum continues into 2023.”

In October 2022, Learning Pool acquired Switzerland’s People Analytix, an AI-based employee skills management platform

“Our more recent acquisition of People Analytix, which allows organisations to dynamically identify and address skills gaps, brings further opportunity for us to deliver extraordinary outcomes for our customers and their people around the globe,” added Dr Betts.

Paul McElvaney, who now serves as Learning Pool’s executive chairman, said: “The long-term consistency of our growth, particularly following the Covid-19 pandemic, reflects the ongoing desire to improve workplace learning.

Learning Pool’s executive chairman and co-founder Paul McElvaney.
Learning Pool’s executive chairman and co-founder Paul McElvaney.

“In a world feeling the effects of the great resignation and facing economic uncertainty, we’re uniquely placed to help companies on-board, upskill and retain staff.

“By maintaining the proportion of revenues derived from customer subscriptions, and with new backing from Marlin Equity Partners, we continue to invest heavily in product development, sales, and professional services to deliver measurable benefit for our entire customer base."