MEIF - Proof of Concept

Worktech specialist raises £1.5m for employee experience platform

Huler – the worktech company behind a leading employee experience platform (EXP) – has raised a further £1.5m from the MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund, which is managed by Mercia Ventures and part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), and Mercia’s EIS funds.

The latest investment will support further development of its HulerHub platform and enable the Stoke-based company to increase revenues and create ten new roles.

HulerHub is a SaaS (software as a service) platform that enables HR teams to simplify employee communications and information access. It acts as a ‘digital window’, bringing together all the different software programs, apps and content that employees need in one place, whilst providing important insights for HR teams to better understand how to connect and engage different teams.

Launched in early 2022, it was quickly adopted by clients including Travelodge, Centrica, EE, Qinetiq, St James’s Place Wealth Management and US-based Dairy Queen, with many of them going on to expand its use within their business. Huler is on course to increase annual recurring revenue by 160% in the current financial year.

Huler was founded by HR and worktech expert Nicky Hoyland, who joined forces with Stoke entrepreneur Gareth Mobley, founder and former CEO of DW3 Products Group. The investment follows an earlier round from Mercia and MEIF in December 2022, bringing the total funding to £3.5m.

As part of the deal, the company has appointed David Kelly as Chief Revenue Officer. David has more than 20 years’ experience in HR tech businesses including at IBM, where he led its talent management solutions business in Europe.

Huler’s Co-Founder and CEO, Nicky Hoyland, commented: “With hybrid and remote working now considered normal, employees are increasingly reliant on technology to stay connected and productive, but the adoption of incohesive, clunky technology is contributing to burnout, and decreased engagement. HulerHub is designed to make work simple again. This investment will help us fuel our revenue growth and further develop the product to bring maximum value to our clients.”

Kiran Mehta, Investment Manager at Mercia Ventures, said: “The employee engagement sector remains a huge and fast growing market. Huler’s platform was the most advanced we’d seen at the point of the first investment and the progression since has pushed it even further forward. This investment will help it take advantage of the market opportunities and pursue its aim to become a leader in its field.”

Keira Shepperson, Investment Director, Regional Funding at the British Business Bank, said: “The MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund was introduced to invest into SMEs with innovative ideas, supporting growth and longer term investment into the wider Midlands region. Huler is a perfect example to showcase the MEIF’s ongoing commitment to innovative companies, creating new jobs through the funding. The MEIF encourages similar start-up SMEs to consider the funding options available to support their growth.”

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.