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Sponge.

Background

We made our first acquisition in Sponge in May 2019 with the goal to create a major new player in the corporate learning market, which combines powerful learning technologies with creative content development providing services to a predominately blue-chip customer base across several targeted sectors.

Sponge is a leading custom digital learning provider, offering training solutions that solve multiple business challenges, from risk and compliance, people development and skills enhancement. The Group has been created by bringing together three businesses, Bolt Learning, Sponge and Skill Pill. All with a deep-rooted expertise in creative digital learning content and cutting-edge learning technology solutions with an emphasis on the science of learning.

How we've helped

In May 2019, we backed Bolt Learning, a high functional Learning Management System “Ignite” and online training solutions provider that offers a range of services, including bespoke eLearning content creation through its inhouse developed content editor “Spark”.

In November 2019, Aliter invested in Sponge, a bespoke eLearning content solutions designer which delivers globally across a range of platforms. As a leading European provider, Sponge added scale and a highly attractive blue-chip customer base throughout the UK, Europe and US. Its content has been translated into over 200 languages.

We announced the acquisition of Skill Pill in November 2020. Skill Pill is a digital microlearning specialist, which produces high-quality video, animation, and gamified eLearning content with a particular strength in business performance support, leadership, management, sales and personal effectiveness training. Skill Pill significantly adds to the subscription-based ‘off-the-shelf’ content sales of the group.

Sponge made its fourth acquisition in March 2021 with its investment in Idox Compliance. The business is a leading provider of corporate compliance digital learning content, assisting organisations to comply with laws, regulations and industry guidelines. Idox Compliance adds bespoke content capabilities and 150 compliance-related high quality ready-to-go modules to the Sponge’s existing content library and provides a platform for further international growth.

Strategy

The group now brings together skills and resources from all three businesses to deliver on our strategy, creating a broad-based digital learning group underpinned by market-leading learning technologies.
 

Aliter will utilise established networks and expertise to support organic growth and growth through the acquisition of additional, complementary businesses.

Key facts

Sub sector: Corporate training

Date of initial investment: May 2019

 

Revenues: £17 million

 

Number of employees: 170

 

HQ: Plymouth, England

 

Acquisitions:
Bolt Learning (2019)
Sponge (2019)
Skill Pill (2020)

Idox Compliance (2021)

 

Website:
Sponge

Growth objective: to create a broad-based blended learning group underpinned by market-leading learning technologies.

The decision to have Aliter as our investment partner was an obvious choice. From the beginning, the team have been working closely with me to further develop our strategy and support new business opportunities. Aliter have an extensive network and I strongly believe that their expertise will help us take Bolt to the next stage of development.”
Tamlin Roberts, CEO, Bolt

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