Location: 1 Plough Place, London, EC4A 1DE, United Kingdom United Kingdom
Founded in: 2013
Stage: Beta (public testing)
Number of employees: 1-5
Funding history:
- Date: 07/2013, Seed: $15 k (post valuation: $250000).
Investors: Glen Mehn
Short URL: vator.co/fluency
Followers (39)


Get fluent. Get digital.
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Fluency is a learning platform and marketplace that helps young people get into work. We help them unlock their latent digital skills and connect them with businesses who need them.

Company description

Fluency is a learning platform and marketplace that helps young people get into work. We help them unlock their latent digital skills and connect them with businesses who need them.

The company aims to address a common problem for early- and mid-stage businesses: their owners are experts in their fields but not experts in digital marketing even though it is an essential part of every business today. These businesses need help and are willing to pay for it, but are not in a position to hire staff.

Fluency connects these businesses to Fluency graduates - young people aged 18 to 25 with skills in web, social media and digital marketing - to tackle discrete pieces of work that the business is not equipped to handle in-house.

Website: http://www.fluency.io/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/getfluency

Our 90 second video from the website:

Introduction to Fluency from Fluency on Vimeo.

Our Demo Day pitch:


Demo Day Presentation-Fluency from Fluency on Vimeo.

Investor Deck:


Business model

We have two main revenue streams from Fluency: (a) a licensing fee to charities and private sector organisations to use the learning platform for their young people, and (b) a revenue share from the skills marketplace.

(a) The learning platform will be available at a sliding scale (depending on the size of the organisation) for charities or social enterprises working with young people. This provides us with a pipeline of users for the platform and help us to track the efficacy and social impact of Fluency, as we can utilise the tracking systems of the partners we work with.

We are speaking to The Prince's Trust and Catch22 (both £50+million turnover), as well as medium and small charities such as St Gile's Trust, Each One Teach One and MyBnk about becoming clients. The Think Big programme from Telephonica have also approached us about delivering this training in 6 European countries.

We will charge a higher per-user monthly licensing fee for:

- Private-sector organisations wanting to use the platform to train young people for work, for example Work Programme companies such as Working Links, Prevista and Serco, or housing associations such as East Thames’s Working Assets programme.

- Training and apprenticeship providers who wish to use the platform as part of their digital training, e.g. Creative Process.

- Further education (FE) colleges who teach business, enterprise and entrepreneurship who wish to use the platform as part of their digital training, e.g. Barking and Dagenham Technical Skills Academy.

Our last revenue stream will come from the skills marketplace.Traditional skills marketplaces such as PeoplePerHour, oDesk and Elance or more niche focused ones such as HourlyNerd (business consulting) provide an introductory service and some payment management services e.g. invoicing but do not get involved in the quality or management of the work. For this they take a standard 10% revenue cut.

As we will be using microwork and workflow techniques to manage the hiring and delivery of the work, we can justify a larger percentage of 20-25%.

Competitive advantage

We want to make hiring digital expertise online as easy as buying a pizza.

We have a number of areas of competitive advantage over existing skills marketplace solutions:

1. We can ensure work quality (the elephant in the room when it comes to outsourcing work) as we train our workers on our learning platform. All workers must be certified in the area of expertise to be able to get work.

2. The trend of marketplaces is for less choice and managed solutions - clients are realising that they don't want to sift through hundreds of bids for a job - they just want the work done. We offer a fully managed solution from helping the client scope the project to finding workers to delivery of the final output.

3. We want to combine the power of microwork systems and crowd labour with the creativity and personal touch of an open marketplace. We are researching how computation can be used to break down creative projects, find the best workers for the elements and manage the whole process from end to end.

4. Our last competitive advantage is that we are a commercial business but one with a social heart - we aim to build a very big business but one that helps young people all over the world get creative and well paid work online. We believe that unlocking the digital skills of this generation will be a huge asset to Fluency and make us stand out.