CAPSLOCK raise £1m pre-seed as demand for cyber security talent reaches tipping point
As the world continues to move towards a digital future, the unmet demand for cyber security professionals is becoming an urgent societal problem.
CAPSLOCK, an online cyber security bootcamp provider, has completed a £1.04m pre-seed round to help adults re-skill and land high-paying jobs in cyber security, whilst simultaneously plugging the skills gap and deferring over £1m of up-front tuition fees.
The pre-seed investment was completed in two tranches and investors include Ufi VocTechTrust, GC Angels, the British Government, and a group of 9 angel investors.
The pre-seed raise is one of the largest in the UK during 2021 and many investors recognise that there could be massive opportunities in the edtech sector, given that the shift from offline to online learning will continue long after students are allowed to return to physical classrooms.
Alex Bishop, Investment Manager, Ufi VocTech Trust, said: “At Ufi, we continue to be enthused by the unique learner proposition at CAPSLOCK, enabling learners to access skills needed for work in high demand sectors in the UK, such as Cyber Security, whilst removing the upfront financial barriers to training, through their innovative Income Share Agreement model.
“The evidence of impact demonstrated through the career transformations of their learners to date has been striking, with salary levels increasing post enrolment across the cohort. We are excited to support the business moving forward as they scale their bootcamp model to even more learners.”
Spun out from the University of Bradford, the company was founded by Dr. Andrea Cullen, Lorna Armitage (both based in Bingley), and Jonathan Slater. Together, they recognised that traditional education isn’t meeting the demands of an economy which is increasingly focused on digital skills. Alongside the unmet demand, there are also difficult diversity issues within the current tech workforce.
Dr. Andrea Cullen, Co-founder at CAPSLOCK, said: “Increasing diversity within the UK’s cyber security workforce is something we’re proud to be leading. It’s at the heart of everything we do, from removing financial barriers with Income Share Agreements, through to encouraging people of all genders, ethnic backgrounds and types of neurodiversity to enrol and re-skill with CAPSLOCK. This funding allows us to scale throughout 2022, grow the CAPSLOCK team and look towards re-skilling thousands of UK adults a year.”
Next year, CAPSLOCK will be developing a new curriculum to plug key technology skills such as secure software development and cloud engineering. They intend to raise a significant seed round to launch new curriculums whilst scaling the current cyber & ISA offering.