Belgium-based knowledge and training platform for SMEs, Whale, has secured €1M in a fresh round of funding from Volta Ventures, Peak Capital, and the founding team. The company is on a mission to create a connected knowledge and training solution that replaces outdated learning methods.
Founded in 2018 by Bram Billiet and Gary Vanbutsele, Whale is a knowledge and training platform that connects teams to their every process, policy, and procedure, in the moment of need. In simple terms, it is a SaaS company that helps teams centralise their processes, procedures, policies, and tribal knowledge in one place, so they can onboard and train employees faster.
Whale co-founder and CEO Gary Vanbutsele previously led an IT services firm and knows how time-consuming educating employees the traditional way can get. Sharing his past experience, Gary says, “Sometimes it felt like all I did was repeat myself over and over again without real progress. I needed to find a more scalable and efficient way to empower my teams with the knowledge they required.”
The pain-points Whale is trying to fix
In any small or big company, the biggest challenges faced are working on any process and having it followed by everyone on the team. For instance, if a team member is unable to procure a piece of relevant information fast enough, they either ask a colleague or in the worst-case scenario, make an impromptu decision. This is where Whale wants to step in and help out the companies.
Whale’s goal is to help companies grow in the most efficient and effective way possible, achieved by its 4 core components: create, maintain, share, and measure.
Create: The company helps document processes, procedures, and company policies. Its editor helps create bite-sized dynamic content with text, images, videos, and more.
Maintain: Whale’s board interface offers an easy to overview structure of all of the operational knowledge. It helps organise and maintain operational knowledge in a centralised hub that is easy to keep up-to-date.
Share: After the documentation, with the company’s plug-and-play web extension, users can share that information to onboard, train, and reinforce the right knowledge to the right people. As a manager, the platform allows users to select who should be trained on what as well as provide the progress of their learners.
Measure: With the measure component, Whale gives users new insights on what processes are working and which need improvement so their company can keep on growing the right way.
Use of the funds
The raised capital will accelerate Whale’s global expansion and marketing initiatives. The funding will also enable Whale to further improve its product and ramp-up its international sales and marketing efforts.
Whale’s Gary Vanbutsele says, “We are very excited to bring not one, but two experienced partners onboard that will empower us in our mission to help companies train and work more effectively.”
A brief about the investors
Venture capital firm Volta Ventures provides (pre)seed and early-stage financing for software & internet companies that originate in the Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg). Now investing from its second fund it has €100M under management. Besides funding, the firm also helps in raising follow-on financing as well as provides guidance to assist companies in growing from startup to scaleup.
As for Peak Capital, it is an Amsterdam-based venture capital fund set up by experienced entrepreneurs and capital to European fast-growing early-stage marketplace, platform, and SaaS companies. Peak Capital manages €84M and has made 30 investments to date including IENS (sold to TripAdvisor), Catawiki, United Wardrobe (sold to Vinted), Channable, Studocu, Trengo, and Creative Fabrica.
Speaking about the investment in Whale, Stefan Bary, Partner at Peak Capital, says, “Traditional learning and knowledge management solutions store information in siloed applications, which means adoption by employees is often poor. However, the solution of Whale provides context-aware knowledge within the tools a company uses: the right information for the right employee at the right time. Truly learning while doing in a very efficient way.”