The benefits of active portfolio management with Bright Network


Whilst the past couple of years have been a challenging operating environment for many businesses and sectors, Maven has maintained a close and active role in supporting our portfolio companies through that period, enabling them to continue to make commercial traction and deliver growth in recurring revenues.

Watch James Uffindell, CEO at Bright Network, and Melanie Goward, Partner at Maven discuss how active portfolio management and a strong working relationship helped deliver benefits for the business and for thousands of graduates who use its platform.


James Uffindel: When the pandemic hit, Maven followed through with a kind of subsequent investment round that allowed us to invest through the downturn, and allowed us to do quite a few contrarian things which made sense long term but probably didn't make sense short term. As the pandemic hit we're in the recruitment sector, it was the worst recession in 300 years so the conventional thing to do would probably be to kind of cut back spending and not invest in the future.

Melanie Goward: We took a moment to think and re-evaluate the strategy but decided to go on and complete that investment despite the pandemic because we felt that the management team were nimble and able to adapt the business to cope with whatever the pandemic was going to throw at it. It actually turned out that that was the right thing to do because the pandemic gave bright network a number of opportunities 

James Uffindel: What we wanted to do was to really invest in our community we had close to half a million young people who suddenly could not go into big corporates and get the kind of work experience and the learning experiences that are so important to learn about the world of work. So what we did is we built a coalition of 120 Partners to everybody from the CBI tech UK employers like Goldman Sachs and google to deliver virtual online internships through the summer of 2020 and 2021 which allowed our employers to interact with really bright students and at the same time the students to get an education around the world of work. It became an incredible success we delivered over a million hours of online learning we helped over 150,000 students on this program which was featured by BBC business news and Sky. It became essentially the national response to helping young people through the pandemic.

Melanie Goward: The brand and goodwill of bright network has been enhanced because of the effort that the business went to put that program of events on for free during the 2020 lockdown.

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