Manchester tech firm secures £1.35m investment

Stephen Chapman's picture
by Stephen Chapman

A Manchester tech company that’s created a platform for people to confidentially and safely report workplace harassment has secured £1.35m in funding.

Culture Shift was founded in 2018, following a number of stories about bullying and harassment in businesses. It later developed Report + Support in collaboration with the University of Manchester, to provide an online reporting service for students, staff and visitors.

The £1.35m funding round was led by Praetura Ventures, with GC Angels also investing £100,000. 

"Recent high-profile events concerning bullying and harassment have ignited a long overdue public debate about how we behave towards each other, both in society and more specifically in the workplace. This heightened awareness of the issue, along with the clear signal from the public, regulatory bodies, and the courts has empowered people – both women and men – to report abuse and seek support,” explained by CEO and Founder, Gemma McCall.

“Though this progress is encouraging, a lack of confidence in employers’ processes for reporting bullying and harassment is still a barrier for many victims of such behaviour to come forward. 

"Culture Shift are proud to be both leading that debate and offering a real solution to help overcome that barrier through our innovative, trusted software." 

The cash will be used to develop the software further and accelerate its roll-out to businesses - with a focus on FTSE 350 companies and heavily regulated sectors.

Culture Shift currently has more than 50 customers, predominantly within the higher education sector.

Praetura’s  Pete Carway will join its board as non-executive director. He led the investment, alongside Louise Chapman and Myrto Lalacos.

“Culture Shift is an impressive start-up offering a way for companies to tackle a serious problem that is afflicting business and wider society, as well as attracting increasing media attention. Gemma, Stuart and Carl are passionate about empowering people and giving them the confidence and tools to report abuse, as well as providing firms with the platform to show they are taking the issues seriously,” said Carway.

“There is a clear market opportunity here targeting enlightened organisations that recognise the risks – reputational, financial and cultural – of failing to tackle workplace bullying and harassment. With our investment, Culture Shift will be able to take its platform beyond its current core market of universities to professional services firms and SMEs, which we know remain behind the curve in proactively combating the issue of bullying and harassment.