e-Safe lands funding package from the Greater Manchester Loan Fund
The Greater Manchester Loan Fund, managed by Maven, has invested in Salford-based e-Safe Systems Limited, a specialist software and service provider focused on safeguarding and the monitoring of risk across the UK educational sector.
Through the use of sophisticated detection technology and a dedicated in-house specialist review team, e-Safe tracks the activity of pupils and staff at schools who employ the software to ensure decreased risk and accessibility of illegal activities.
The service provides school and college leaders with an early warning of behaviours which may place students or staff at risk, including illegal imagery, abuse, radicalisation, grooming, bullying and additional areas of concern. The unique hybrid human and interactive element of the monitoring service makes the e-Safe proposition different from conventional monitoring solutions. Markers picked up by e-Safe are reviewed by specialist forensic and safeguarding staff in Salford and any incidents requiring intervention are escalated to school safeguarding and pastoral care staff in line with a pre-agreed protocol.
The six figure investment from GMLF will provide e-Safe with development capital enabling it to invest in additional trained personnel and expand its service in both existing and new markets.
Andy Thomas, Investment Director at Maven, said: “The emphasis on safeguarding children online has never been in greater focus than it is now. Increasing government legislation and the duty of care obligations which many institutions need to comply with generates increasing market demand amongst local authorities, colleges and schools to implement monitoring technology like e-Safe."
"The proven success of e-Safe’s safeguarding interventions has ensured that services and the business enjoys high customer retention levels due to the effectiveness of its procedures. Today’s funding will enable the business to develop further capacity to facilitate new contracts and support its next key growth phase.”
Mark Donkersley, Managing Director at e-Safe, added: ”The partnership with GMLF is a significant milestone for e-Safe during a period when demand for our unique service has increased substantially from all areas of the education sector. The financial support from GMLF will be invaluable in the development of our specialist monitoring facility in Salford and its capability to deliver early warning of safeguarding risk to school leaders and local authorities.
“The effective protection of young people and adults in today’s digital environment relies on accurate and timely information reaching those people charged with safeguarding responsibility and e-Safe is proud to be setting new standards in this critical area.”
Mike Blackburn, chair of Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This partnership has the double benefit of supporting a Salford-based company while also safeguarding young people across the country. Digital innovation is a key part of Greater Manchester’s economic future so e-Safe is just the kind of business the Greater Manchester Loan Fund should be supporting. This investment will enable growth, open new markets and create jobs.”
Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart said: “This is a sensible investment in pioneering technology that will help protect young people. The funding will help the business to grow and create further numbers of new jobs and I am particularly proud they are based in Salford."
“With the explosion in number of people using computers and the internet in schools, there is a greater need than ever before to make sure we do all we can to keep people safe.”