Deskless workers have become a huge focus for tech companies looking for new opportunities in the B2B market, and today a startup targeting the sector with e-learning tools is announcing a round of funding to support its growth.
EduMe, a London-based start-up that provides training and education to businesses online in the form of self-built “micro-learning” modules – aimed at rapidly expanding technology and other businesses dealing with large numbers of workers or partners who would not normally work in the same The actual site is like the company itself – it raised $20 million in the Series B round. The company plans to use the funding to expand its business in the US after seeing an adequate amount of growth so far.
Prosus and Workday Ventures (Workday’s strategic investment arm) co-led the tour with Valo Ventures, who led EduMe’s Series A, as well as participating. The Workday investment is notable because it shows that the HR platform is looking at how it can do more in corporate learning and targeting out-of-the-box workers in particular (both would be a natural complement to its existing platform), and this could lead to a larger scale, for some operations. Mergers and acquisitions are all along the line for it. Meanwhile, EduMe sees opportunities for growth in making e-learning easier to use in a broader IT context.
“The ecosystem of how you serve the non-office worker is changing,” Jacob Warren, CEO and founder of EduMe, said in an interview. “They don’t want to have 10 apps, so we’re looking at integrating with CRM and other platforms to bring connected content to the workforce.”
For Prosus, this is one of the many bets it’s making in education technology: It also announced today that it’s leading a major tour of its GoStudent online education platform, aimed at younger consumer users.
EduMe’s focus on officeless workers, a market that was once marginal but is now mainstream, reflects the startup’s DNA.
Originally created at Millicom, a telecommunications company focused on emerging markets (currently Latin America; historically both Latin America and Africa), with the service originally intended to provide e-learning to its telecommunications customer base. Over time, Waern (who was at Millicom and built the service there) saw that it had the most traction with businesses, not individual consumers or merchants, and so a decision was made to expand the business to multiply this opportunity across a wider range of markets that also included countries advanced. (Warren said Millicom does not have a stake in EduMe.)
EduMe found early adopters among target sectors such as carriers and delivery companies, which were rapidly expanding and needed ways to connect with those disparate teams. Over time, it has also added businesses in logistics, mobile operators, retail, hospitality and healthcare. It now has around 60 existing global customers, including Gopuff, Deliveroo, Deloitte, Uber and Vodafone. EduMe does not disclose the total number of users, learning units used, or other metrics; Evaluation is not discussed.
The growth of the startup reflects the larger trend in the B2B technology market. Non-desk workers have traditionally been neglected in favor of the so-called knowledge worker segment – mainly because knowledge workers, who sit at computers all day, are a clear target for the purchase and use of online learning tools. Simply put, it has always been easier to build and sell to these users.
All of that has changed dramatically in the past several years. Most importantly, the development has hastened advances in mobile technology and cloud computing, where everyone (whether they are knowledge workers or not) is now using a smartphone to get their tasks done, against the background of much faster wireless networks, and with applications that have been designed To be used on the go and on smaller screens.
More recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this shift: remote work is now the norm for everyone, and this has helped democratize solutions for working with a wider range of people. Warren said his company estimates that, in fact, about 80% of the world’s workforce these days can be considered officeless.
The advent of remote work led to the growth of something else. As people can’t or simply don’t work in shared physical spaces anymore, online learning tools have become a central – and sometimes most important – way for companies to communicate with their teams, using them not just for training, but for coaching and professionalization. Development.
The growth of this trend has translated into very large businesses. It is estimated that the largest market for corporate learning was valued at $250 billion in 2020. This is set to swell to approximately $458 billion by 2026, exponential growth caused by the pandemic and changing work and consumer habits in the long term.
EduMe believes that the unique selling point in the market at the moment is its focus on remote and office-free employees, but it is far from being the only player in this space, and therefore it will face stiff competition. Other startups that have amassed big rounds to fuel their corporate learning ambitions include 360Learning, LearnUpon, Go1 and Attensi. LinkedIn also has a keen interest in this space.
“The pandemic has changed the way we work in ways we never imagined, yet there is an enormous need to support fast-growing industries where employees may not have traditional offices,” said Mark Beck, MD and President of Workday Ventures, in a statement. “We support EduMe for its innovative training and learning platform that helps organizations navigate change and growth while serving an ever-expanding officeless workforce.”