An online live training platform for upskilling tech teams has raised £2.2 million to scale.

Skiller Whale marries skills assessment with small expert-led classes to enable a high degree of flexibility and easy integration with tech teams’ schedules.

Adopted by rocketing scaleups like PensionBee and Drizly, Skiller Whale was founded to quickly  and sustainably transform tech teams’ skills acquisition. 

“It’s a very affordable alternative to expensive personal training when online courses won’t cut it,” said Jonathan Lister-Parsons, CTO and co-founder of Pensionbee, the 2014 startup that went public last year.

The round was led by Brighteye Ventures, along with a group of VCs and angel investors, including Playfair and RLC.

Tech team skills are fundamental to the success of organisations – and developing those skills within teams is positive for attracting and retaining talented staff. However Skiller Whale, founded in 2018, says traditional models of training are maladapted to the needs of tech companies. 


“In founding Skiller Whale, I wanted to offer CTOs a real alternative to hiring for skill gaps,” said CEO and co-founder Hywel Carver.

“This means the kind of learning that has an approximate 100% completion rate gives people immediately usable skills, and guarantees that nobody wastes a single hour learning something they already know.”

Benoit Wirz, partner at Brighteye Ventures, said: “The extraordinary pace of growth in tech means that developers need to constantly upskill to keep up, even while juggling ever expanding demand for their time – a challenge that will only become more acute in the coming years. 

“We are impressed by the Skiller Whale founders who have experienced this problem first-hand and have built a personalised solution for developers to learn efficiently, and for companies to enhance their team capabilities reliably and at scale.”


Joe Thornton, partner at Playfair Capital, added: “The current pace of change in our digital economy, coupled with the sudden shift to hybrid work environments, is putting tech leaders under increasing pressure to offer better ways of upskilling their engineering talent. 

“Unlike the passive approach taken by existing solutions, SkillerWhale offers a far more personalised and engaging experience to its learners, resulting in clearly superior outcomes.”

Skiller Whale currently focuses on tech training, with a growing offering in Python, Go, Javascript, Typescript, React, React Native, and PostgreSQL. 

With a team of 11 people based in six countries, the company has been a remote-first organisation from the outset.