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The new year is already looking like it will present significant challenges to UK businesses, and a lack of digital skills will likely be one of them in 2023.

The data has consistently shown that developing skills in Britain will be essential to growing the economy, and while the government has made some efforts in its digital strategy, the onus may fall to startups offering interesting and different ways to provide digital employee upskilling.

Here are four startups in the digital upskilling space to watch out for in 2023.


Founded: 2015

HQ: Cambridge

Funding: £12.5m

An AI-powered learning platform, Obrizum has made some bold claims about how its tech can improve the performance of employees across any sector. The company was founded based on the idea that corporate training’s traditionally linear approach doesn’t suit everyone. While some employees will find the progression too slow, others won’t have the chance to go over essential elements of training again.

The startup deals with this issue through a process called adaptive learning, which involves algorithms that provide custom skill challenges to users based on specific performance analytics. Obrizum provides different training to different users, even if they’re undertaking the same course. Obrizum recently closed its Series A funding round, raising £9.5m in November 2022.

5Mins AI

Founded: 2021

HQ: London

Funding: £5m

Combining digital upskilling with a social media phenomenon, 5Mins AI has built a platform to provide employee education content in the style of TikTok. Users can scroll through training videos and, through engagement, provides personalised content suggestions.

The company claims its method makes employees more likely to complete training courses due to the personalised nature of the content, as well as the gamified social media-inspired presentation. In November, the company raised £5m in a seed funding round.


Founded: 2017

HQ: London

Funding: £10m

Learnerbly is a digital upskilling marketplace, it offers books, podcasts, conferences, courses, and coaching from hundreds of different providers, all in one platform. The company really began to shine a few years after its foundation, when the pandemic massively increased the demand for digital learning services for remote workers.

Learnerbly’s CEO, Rajeeb Dey has said the platform is particularly aimed at tech startups and other firms with overstretched teams and limited in-house learning and development teams. The company’s last funding round came in December 2021, when it raised £8.3m for its Series A.


Founded: 2020

HQ: London

Funding: £5.2m

Incorporating virtual reality into employee training, Pixaera is seeking to gamify upskilling with VR headsets. The company founders saw the growing popularity of VR, but wondered why it wasn’t being applied to the corporate world. Pixaera claims that replicating the fun of gaming can make training engaging and more effective for staff.

Company founder Mousa Yassin noted that if people could apply the same dedication and hours they do to gaming to training, they could achieve great levels of improvement. Pixaera boasts an impressive client list, including Shell, BP, and GE. The startup secured £5m in seed funding back in October.