Go1 receives $100 million at over $2 billion valuation to upgrade its enterprise learning platform

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Online education continues to receive a lot of attention in the wake of Covid-19 and the changes it has brought to the way people can learn. And to highlight this fact, Jump1 — one of the rising stars in the world of corporate training, providing education and training to companies that in turn offer to their employees or users — announces a massive $100 million round at a valuation of over $2 billion to drive its growth.

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The funding, which closed in May, is co-led by AirTree Ventures and Five Sigma. SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Salesforce Ventures, Blue Cloud Ventures, Larsen Ventures, Scott Shleifer and John Curtius of Tiger Global, TEN13, M12 – Microsoft Venture Fund – Madrona Venture Group, SEEK and Y Combinator I also participate. (The company was part Y combinator cohort in 2015.)

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For some context to this estimate, Brisbane, Australia, Go1 has $400 million to date. And when he last announced funding less than a year ago, $200 million in July 2021 led by SoftBankit was valued at half that amount, $1 billion.

This is a notable increase, especially considering not only the current limited state of the funding market, but also the fact that a number of big players in online education have seen their fortunes decline in recent months from the booms they saw before and during the pandemic (some perhaps , due to general market pressuresome as part of what seems to be a wider macroeconomic and consumer changes).

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The core of Go1’s product is a platform on which it hosts content from dozens of other providers – they include companies such as Blinkist and Thrive, as well as Skillsoft, Pluralsight and Harvard Business Publishing. Go1 collects and curates content, the idea being that its customers, including companies ranging from TikTok to the Singapore government, can make a deal to access this educational and learning content without having to sign everything. these agreements themselves.

At a time when there is a lot of fragmentation and many options for e-learning, this approach has become widespread, mainly to meet the needs in three categories: training, skills development and more general education to attract and retain talent. Last year, CEO and co-founder Andrew Barnes told me in an interview that Go1’s revenues, customers, and learners have doubled, with about 5 million learners now taking courses through its platform.

And while most of his growth to date has been organic, he will use some of the funding to bring some inorganic growth into the mix. Some of this is already being done: in April acquisition French-Swiss B2B education technology start-up Coorpacademy for a deeper entry into French-speaking markets.

But Go1’s ambition goes beyond that: it also plans to use some of the funding to further explore how it can expand its platform beyond corporate training.

“Now our students come to us through their employers, but we want relationships outside of that context,” Barnes said. He added that this served another purpose. “Inside, we are thinking about how to provide education to everyone without putting a price on them. If we do something for consumers, we would like to make it a goal. It would be a completely different product.”

Another area where the company would like to leverage the investment is incorporating more technology innovation into the Go1 platform. According to Barnes, one of these will most likely be virtual reality-based learning; the other is to create more live streaming in addition to the existing catalog that today is based on asynchronous content.

Online education has definitely received a boost during the pandemic both to become an essential tool for students to continue their studies; but also as an important way to help organizations connect their employees with the corporate culture, train them in new skills, etc. at a time when they too had fewer opportunities to meet in person. Interestingly, while Barnes acknowledges that the pandemic has definitely brought attention to distance learning, the online workplace learning market was already thriving before the pandemic.

“Companies are seizing the opportunity to programmatically upskill, retrain and empower their workforce, and Go1 has become a learning content provider to help bring this opportunity to life,” said Craig Blair, founder of AirTree Ventures, in a statement. “We are excited to be part of Go1’s global journey to build a sustainable company at the head of a learning and development ecosystem.”

Like others in the same space, such as Odilo (who announced funding just last week), Go1 positions itself as a kind of Netflix or Spotify, collecting and curating content for its customers. Unlike Odilo, Go1 keeps its branding intact throughout the more YouTube-like experience. Barnes said we have no plans to switch to an all-white product.

Credit: techcrunch.com /

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