Silent Edge gets backing from Rockpool

Performance measurement firm Silent Edge has received backing from Rockpool Investments. Silent Edge is Rockpool’s seventh investment of 2014.


Performance measurement firm Silent Edge has received a £2.2 million injection from Rockpool Investments, the fast-growing network investment firm. The deal will bring Silent Edge’s skills assessment software to a range of new industries, enabling businesses to join the current era of data-driven talent management.

Rockpool has provided £1.8 million equity in the form of EIS-qualifying shares together with a £400,000 venture loan, and taken a significant minority ownership position in Silent Edge.

Silent Edge is Rockpool’s seventh investment of 2014 and follows deals with Growth Power, Macro Assembly, Clarity Diamonds and Rockpool’s third crematorium, South Leicester Memorial. So far this year Rockpool has invested a total of £24.2 million in seven businesses across a wide range of sectors.

Recently celebrating its twelfth birthday, Silent Edge has been continuously developing its proprietary technology platform, which enables organisations to accurately evaluate their people in order to provide skills development that enhances each individual’s performance by targeting specific skills gaps.

Silent Edge’s technology is already used across a range of industries, with clients including BT, Lafarge Tarmac, Archant, and Barclays. The company has firmly established itself as a leader in the sales sector and plans to use the investment, the first external funding Silent Edge that has received, to further develop its advanced technology and make more effective talent management strategies available across a wider variety of sectors including engineering, HR, manufacturing, marketing, administration, and management.

Silent Edge has developed a cloud-based technology platform that assesses skills levels in a live environment, providing impartial data that can inform a range of talent decisions from recruitment to performance development and succession planning. This platform has to date been designed for use by larger organisations, but this new investment will facilitate the development of a new SaaS version of the platform, which will bring interactive and scalable development to small organisations and individuals.

Matt Taylor, founder and managing partner at Rockpool, said:
“Many businesses ask us to back their plans for rapid growth, but few can point to the track record of success that Silent Edge has already enjoyed. With such a strong base of happy customers, it’s easy to see how Silent Edge can become one of the most exciting growth stories of the next five years. Silent Edge is the sort of profitable growth company that exactly fits with Rockpool’s model.”

Russell Ward, founder and CEO of Silent Edge for the last twelve years, said:
“Technology continues to have an increasingly significant impact on skills development. The most effective talent development technology ensures that learning is efficient, accessible, connected, and engaging – this is what we invest in at Silent Edge. We chose to work with Rockpool because of their sterling reputation and extensive network of contacts around the world. Using our evidence-based approach, sophisticated platform, and new SaaS offering, we intend to make the latest talent development technology accessible across the globe to a potential market we estimate to be worth over £1 billion. This will help organisations of all sizes make their talent management processes accurate and sustainable.”

For more information please contact:

Bella McAvoy, or +44 (0)7958 933305

Catherine Luff, or +44 (0) 01892 502 206

Notes to editors:

About Rockpool Investments
Rockpool Investments is a network investment firm that offers private investors the chance to invest directly in private companies. Since the beginning of 2013 it has helped over 500 people invest £56 million in 17 businesses. Rockpool invests £2-5 million apiece in UK-managed businesses across a wide range of sectors. Funded companies include the Chicago Rib Shack (a fast-casual restaurant chain), the Airedale Catering Group (fitting kitchens in schools and hospitals), Aegis Data (a data centre operator) and the Kirkleatham Crematorium.

Rockpool combines the best elements from crowdfunding (direct investment by individuals into private companies), private equity (due diligence, negotiating terms, active investor representation) and angel investment networks (investor engagement with their portfolio companies’ CEOs). Rockpool was founded by Matt Taylor in 2011. Matt identified a need for individuals to gain access to good private companies, taking advantage of tax relief schemes such as the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), Business Property Relief (BPR) and Business Investment Relief (BIR) – with associated multiple tax benefits, i.e. income tax, CGT, IHT reliefs and investment relief from remittance charges, for all equity investments. Investors can also invest through SIPPS or personal companies.

About Silent Edge

Silent Edge has established a firm reputation as a thought leader in the evidence-based measurement of employee skills, knowledge, and development, championing a high-tech approach to all areas of talent management. The company was founded in 2002 by Russell Ward to address the growing need for evidence-based skills development within the sales industry. Since then, it has created a system that can measure the performance of employees in any role that can be observed.

The Silent Edge approach is informed by research conducted in association with leading academic institutions. Recent collaborations include a co-publication with Cranfield School of Management; the ‘Cranfield Report’ took an in-depth look at the competencies of salespeople and was featured in the Harvard Business Review in 2010. Silent Edge’s technology and training has been widely used by clients across a range of sectors including telecoms, finance, media, construction, and recruitment.