Award-winning custom digital learning company, Sponge, has been acquired by Aliter Capital to form part of the private equity firm’s corporate training group. The Plymouth-based workplace learning provider will play a strategic role in supporting Aliter’s goal to establish a major new force in the learning technology market.

Aliter’s investment in Sponge follows its acquisition of Glasgow-based Bolt Learning, provider of eLearning solutions and content, a sophisticated Learning Management System (LMS) and a range of advanced content development tools, in June this year. Under Aliter’s wing, the powerful partnership enables Sponge to strengthen and extend its digital learning portfolio to better serve its existing clients – some of the world’s largest brands.

Named International Company of the Year at the Insider South West Global Growth Awards in June and Medium Business of the Year at the Plymouth Business Awards in May this year, Sponge will continue to focus on delivering outstanding client service and innovative learning solutions. The company’s existing management team will remain in place – it’s business as usual – under Aliter’s guidance.

Louise Pasterfield, Founder and Managing Director, explained, “With Aliter’s backing, we have an even stronger organisation with greater expertise. From the outset, we have been very impressed with Aliter’s strategy and vision for a global learning group. And Bolt’s learning platform means we can offer a more extensive learning solution portfolio to our existing clients and prospects.

“The management team is extremely excited about the opportunities this venture will bring and the additional value-add we’ll be able to deliver. Since 2004, we’ve been on an extraordinary journey; we’re now a leading provider of bespoke digital learning. Along the way, we’ve pushed the boundaries with innovation and creativity. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved so far, and this new chapter represents an exciting opportunity for us, our people and our clients. We foresee the group expanding rapidly under Aliter’s guidance.”

Billy Allan, Managing Partner of Aliter, said, “Bringing Sponge and Bolt together creates a major new player in the digital learning market which combines powerful learning technologies with creative content development. Our strategy is to build on this foundation to create a broad-based blended learning group underpinned by market-leading learning technologies.”

Tamlin Roberts, Bolt Learning CEO, said, “It has been a pleasure in getting acquainted with the senior team at Sponge. We have a complementary range of technologies and capabilities which will enhance the value we can provide to our customers and underpin the next phase of growth.”

Geraint Evans