Eloomi, the Danish based learning management platform and people development tool has raised DKK 75 million in a Series A funding round. According to XE.com this is around US$11 million, though an early press release stated the company had raised $14 million. The investment was led by Kennet Partners and VF Ventures, an existing investor. As a start-up, Eloomi has already had considerable success. It has offices in Copenhagen and London with over 400 customers in more than 25 countries.
The announcement also sees Adam Hale appointed as non exec Chairman. Enterprise Times spoke to Hale about the company and his new role. Hale’s involvement with Eloomi was through an introduction by Kennet. Kennet already has investments in both ThinkHR and ReceiptBank. Hale has known Kennet for over 15 years. As CEO of Fairsail, Hale discussed funding with Kennet as an alternate funding source before that company’s acquisition by Sage. Hale is not associated with Kennet, and they will have their own member of the board, Hillel Zidel. Rather he is a senior executive with the experience and connections from growing Fairsail rapidly.
The board already has Jacob Bratting Pedersen, Partner at VF Ventures and Hale revealed that it may add further non-execs in due course. Eloomi should consider increasing the diversity on its board with any future appointment. Pedersen commented: “We invested early in Eloomi based on a strong team, revolutionary products and a large global internationalization perspective. Since our initial investment 2 years ago, the company has doubled its revenue every year. We have succeeded in further enhancing the team, and we will of course continue supporting the company both financially in this A round together with Kennet Partners, and on strategic and operational issues. Eloomi will undoubtedly create great changes for many companies that want to be at the forefront of talent management.”
Who are Eloomi
ET asked Hale to describe what the company does, he answered: “It is essentially two pieces, learning management and performance management. Helping people to be productive and successful in what they do. Over time the worlds of learning and performance will come together. Obviously Organisations want to measure that people have actually improved as a result of learning and can perform better and put in place that feedback loop.”
Eloomi has grown very much under the radar of publicity. However, it has not yet featured on the Learning Management Fosway Grid. Both of these are things that Hale expects will change in the coming months. It has, though, won some significant customers including Sophos and Savills.
What do its early customers say?
As part of his due diligence Hale spoke to Sophos about their decision to select the little known company. Hale continued: “I talked to Sophos about why they had chosen Eloomi. They are using it for two very important pain points One is to make sure that they are completely compliant and people are correctly trained. The other one is that they are using it as a mechanism to enable and underpin future sales growth.”
Savills is equally impressed with the Danish solution. Shola Macarthy, Savills People Development Manager commented: “We have been using Eloomi at Savills UK & Ireland for our learning and development efforts. With a work force in excess of 7,000 employees, the correct strategy and solution for managing learning and development activities for our workforce is hugely important. For the first time in a while, we went back into our old legacy system the other day and we were overwhelmed by how clunky, difficult and slow it felt. Eloomi is a much more versatile and user intuitive tool for delivering the strategy we have set out to achieve.!”
These customer statements align with the Eloomi view. Claus Johansen, Eloomi founder and CEO commented: “We wanted to deliver a solution for mid-sized companies that is simpler, easier and smarter than the competition. The landscape is booming for HR professionals, but no-one other than Eloomi has really solved the main pain points of getting access to a solution that is not complex, is reasonably priced, can be up and running in just days, and can connect directly to any existing core ERP or HR solution. Our customer stories and reviews demonstrate this.”
Why has it brought in Hale
Hale brings a wealth of domain experience and is now on the board at several companies, including Unit4. ET asked Hale about why he is at Eloomi and why he thinks Eloomi is so important:
“The reason I am there is that I do have particular domain experience in this area. If you step back from this, now, if you visit any mid market enterprise they would be able to tell you in quite a lot of detail, their approach, their strategy and all their operational capability around their customers in 2019. They would not be able to the same thing around their people. I fundamentally believe that in 3-5 years time most organisations will be able to have the same conversation around their people. Eloomi is one of the fundamental foundations and mechanisms to do that.
“A lot of people around decisions are still made by guesswork and spreadsheets, that model is going. Eloomi has something called the XRay which allows the organisation to make decisions based on insight and information across the whole organisation. That is changing how companies operate. That is bringing in people science. If you do not have the whole lifecycle of onboarding, training and performance done in this way you cannot make decisions with that kind of rigour and information.”
As to why Eloomi chose Hale, what is he bringing to them?
“I am there to help inspire them and to make sure that they have the size and impact with their customers and partner. Also, The UK is a significant market, they have got quite a lot of customers here. The reason for having me as chairman is to help them in the UK market because it is a big area of expansion.”
What will it do with the money
This investment is for growth. It is likely to initially focus on the European, UK and US markets, according to the press release. The money will increase the existing 60 staff to 210 across Denmark, UK and US.
Hale gave this response about its internationalisation plans: “About half the customers are headquartered in the Nordics. The other half are in the UK, DACH, Benelux and other regions. US is very much on agenda but probably more a 2021 rather than 2020.”
Hale believes that the focus of expansion will initially be in DACH, Benelux and the UK. He sees the company opening offices in those regions although argued that this is not always vital saying: “They have a model able to support and look after the sales and marketing, implementation and customer success cycle from the Nordics.”
Kennet also has the experience of such expansion as it operates across both Europe and the US. Hillel Zidel, Managing Director at Kennet Partners, commented: “We are delighted to support Eloomi in its incredibly exciting expansion story. Eloomi is an innovator in the human capital management category and has built a business with international appeal in a highly capital efficient way. At Kennet, we love businesses that solve real problems, create value and lead their market. Eloomi is doing just that for its clients and their employees.”
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
It seems that Eloomi is emerging from its early life as a pseudo stealth company. It is likely that a proportion of the investment will be allocated to marketing. This will help increase awareness of its solution in the marketplace. Customer advocates such as Sophos and Savills will help with that. In this way it is similar to Aera Technology, another start up that is emerging from the early stages of life as a company following a funding round. Expect to hear more from Eloomi in the coming months.