Recruitment & HRInvestment

Academy, a Manchester startup which attracts, trains and accelerates a new diverse generation of tech leaders, has raised a £3 million seed round.

Current and former leaders from Microsoft, Facebook, Slack, Farfetch and GoCardless are amongst the high-profile angel investors participating in the round, which is being led by LocalGlobe, with participation from Emerge Education.

Academy aims to build a talent and leadership infrastructure for the tech industry. Its CEO and founder Ashley Ramrachia was chief people officer at THG, building the talent investment blueprint that powered it to a $7 billion IPO.

Whilst at THG, Ramrachia pioneered a radical new model to meet the scaling needs of the company: building an internal technology and leadership academy that transformed raw tech potential into high-performance technologists.

In doing so, THG uncovered a source of untapped, premium talent – non-computer science graduates with an enormous aptitude for tech acceleration, who ended up outperforming their computer science peers in tech roles.

He is now embedding this ‘merit over means’ model at the very heart of the tech industry. Portfolio companies from Sequoia Capital, Index Ventures and Y Combinator – along with rapidly growing public companies like Soho House – are amongst the companies working with Academy to find and accelerate their future tech leaders.

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Academy partners gain exclusive access to a premium community of diverse future leaders in tech. From a degree-agnostic background, Academy selects the top 0.5% of talent – making it more selective than Google.

More than 50% of those accepted are female while more than 60% are from minority ethnic backgrounds and 30% identify as black.

This is made possible by cutting through economic barriers: Academy’s training programme is zero-tuition, grant-funded and remote-first, making it accessible to anybody with an internet connection.


Beamery, recently valued at $800m in a Series C round, has been working with Academy to identify, train and accelerate their future leaders in software engineering with twin ambitions of high performance and high focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.

The partnership has included nurturing of both technical and leadership skills for incoming hires and existing employees, including workshops on mentoring, ongoing leadership coaching and core technical training.

Through the partnership, seven individuals are joining Beamery in software engineering roles – achieving a cohort diversity of 57% female and 43% minority ethnic background – as a key part of Beamery’s commitment to increasing access to opportunities.

“Too many of the most talented individuals are not able to access careers in technology – creating a talent bottleneck for the whole of the tech industry,” said Ramrachia. 

“If we are to build a globally successful tech industry then we need the best people starting their careers in technology at fast-growing companies – the exact talent blueprint that drove THG to its multi-billion dollar success. 

“This funding round will help Academy to create that common talent and leadership infrastructure for the most ambitious companies.”


Saul Klein, co-founder of LocalGlobe, said: “Academy has put together an inspirational team of executives who have first hand experience of recruiting for some of the world’s best tech companies at scale, and for developing talent that takes those companies to the next level.

“Academy graduates are the future leaders of the tech sector’s best companies. Ash’s proven track record, dedication to the industry and his sheer determination to see people reach their full potential is awesome to behold and will bring huge dividends to those companies that partner with his team.”