A Birmingham startup which aims to improve learning and communication within companies has raised £1 million to expand.

Talkout’s platform REELYZE centralises a firm’s knowledge and improves productivity, learning and development through an AI-powered learning assistant.

The funding, from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) through the MEIF West Midlands Equity Fund managed by Midven, and the MEIF Early Stage and Proof of Concept Fund managed by Mercia Asset Management, will create up to 40 jobs in sales, engineering, finance and business development.

It will also fund a rebrand this year.

“The whole team at Talkout is extremely proud that both Midven and Mercia have recognised our innovation, the market opportunity the platform creates, and the amazing team that has built the company this far,” said CEO Paul Putman.

“The investment will allow us to continue to develop and refine the platform and reach out to even more organisations.

“We believe this new approach to knowledge creation and learning is truly disruptive and will allow Talkout to become a UK tech company that can compete and win globally.”

Talkout already counts the likes of Halfords and Pets at Home among its client base.

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Ian Fairclough, investment director at Midven, said: “We are backing a proven management who have developed a disruptive mobile first learning platform, addressing the large and growing L&D market.

“Talkout has already won several blue-chip customers, and this investment will allow for further product market fit refinement to win new business.”

Hannah Tapsell, investment manager at Mercia Asset Management, added: “Around 80% of the global workforce are considered deskless, leaving them largely underserved by traditional learning and development solutions.

“With its mobile-first approach, Talkout helps organisations to retain valuable knowledge and upskill workers through peer-to-peer learning. We are excited to be backing Paul and the team as they scale the business and further enrich the technology.”

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