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December 12, 2023

Workplace Training, Blend Secures £350k to Propel Innovative Approach

Women still find themselves in the minority but in despite found success stories of female-founded UK startups

In the ever-evolving landscape of entrepreneurship and venture capital, there remains a significant gender gap, with women underrepresented in the sector. Despite this, a new wave of startups, including 1nhaler, Samudra Oceans, and ViaNautis, led by women, is challenging the status quo. Among them is Blend, a London-based workplace training startup founded by a diverse trio from the UK, South Africa, and Ukraine. Breaking barriers, Blend recently secured a noteworthy £350k in pre-seed funding, marking a significant step towards transforming workplace training methodologies.

While female-led and mixed-gender teams receive a mere 1% and 10% of VC investment in the UK, respectively, Blend's success story highlights a positive shift. The pre-seed funding, backed by prominent investors such as Antler, Ada Ventures, and NoBa Capital, propels Blend into a promising phase. Noteworthy hospitality angel investors, including George Hallam and Maurice Abboudi, have also joined the cause.

Blend's journey began during an Antler residency in October 2022, where founders Jonah Werth, Jules Smith, and Helen Sydorenko united their diverse experiences in advertising, entrepreneurship, and tech. Werth, an advertising expert with a video-first approach, collaborated with Smith, a seasoned professional with an extensive background at UberEats and CocaCola. Sydorenko, the former founder of GreenBin, brought sustainability training expertise to the mix.

Addressing a pressing issue in the hospitality sector, Blend aims to revolutionize training for deskless workers. With the British hospitality industry losing £25 billion annually due to unmet customer demand caused by a lack of trained staff, Blend's innovative approach becomes crucial. The startup creates TikTok-style videos for workplace training, a strategy that combines accessibility and efficiency for deskless workers in hospitality.

Blend's unique proposition lies in its ability to merge TikTok-style content with workplace training, allowing rapid and scalable onboarding for the hospitality sector. Traditional training methods often demand in-person sessions, proving time-intensive for managers. Blend's disruptive approach, already validated through successful pilots with leading hospitality brands, promises to bridge the gap in the industry's frontline workforce shortage.

Blend's recent funding success signifies a turning point in the endeavor to reshape workplace training. With a vision to provide quality learning opportunities without limitations based on industry, income, or learning ability, Blend stands as a beacon challenging the conventional 'one-size-fits-all' approach to Learning and Development. As the startup moves forward, it aspires to empower every deskless employee on the frontlines, championing their unique potential in the modern generations.

Josefina Dipaolo
Josefina Dipaolo
Content writer at TechNews180
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