GO1 raises US$40m after remote learning activity triples
19 May 2020, Written by Matt Ogg
Hot on the heels of a deal with Microsoft Teams, online training and educational content company GO1.com has raised more than US$40 million (AUD$61 million) in a Series C funding round to support increased market expansion in North America.
The raising led by SEEK and Madrona Venture Group is worth more than double last year's Series B round led by Microsoft's M12 venture fund, which also participated along with Our Innovation Fund and new investor, San Francisco-based Salesforce Ventures.
The capital injection comes at a time of "unprecedented" growth for GO1 as companies upskill their staff in the COVID-19 remote working environment.
GO1 reports the number of companies using its platform has doubled over the past year while engagement has tripled over the past month.
"GO1's growth over the last couple of months has been unprecedented and the use of online tools for training is now undergoing a structural shift," says GO1 CEO Andrew Barnes (pictured right with fellow co-founder Vu Tran).
"It is gratifying to fill an important void right now as workers embrace online solutions. We are inspired about the future that we are building as we expand our platform with new mediums that reach millions of people every day with the content they need."
In addition to boosting Logan, Queensland-based GO1's operations in North America, the funding will also be used to expand the content provider partner network in direct response to increased demand for the platform.
Last month's integration with Microsoft Teams has meant organisations using Teams learn directly within their workplace ecosystem, with individuals able to find, consume, share, and discuss learning resources from GO1's extensive library of online learning resources.
"GO1 has been critical for business continuity as organisations navigate the remote realities of COVID-19," says Microsoft corporate vice president and M12 global head Nagraj Kashyap.
"The GO1 integration with Microsoft Teams offers a seamless learning experience at a time when 75 million people are using the application daily.
"We're proud to invest in a solution helping keep employees learning and businesses growing through this time."
Madrona Venture Group managing director S. Somasegar says the global pandemic has only increased the need to provide training and retraining, and also to do it remotely.
"We met GO1 many months before COVID-19 was on the tip of everyone's tongue and were impressed then with the growth of the platform and the ability of the team to expand their corporate training offering significantly in North America and Europe," says Somasegar, who after the Seattle-based company's funding will now join the GO1 board of directors
"The global pandemic has only increased the need to both provide training and retraining and also to do it remotely. GO1 is an important link in the chain of recovery."
GO1 serves as the hub of the learning ecosystem, connecting to learning management systems and content providers to enable organisations to deliver their own learning content, or popular third-party content, in the systems they use every day.
Instead of being locked into one provider, GO1's platform can integrate into existing systems and provide an endless learning library from all the best providers to ensure that they are getting the right resources for the training they need.
"We are excited about partnering with GO1 as it looks to scale its online training platform globally," says Salesforce Ventures' head of Australia Rob Keith.
"While the majority of corporate learning is done in person today, we believe the new digital imperative will see an acceleration in the shift to online learning tools.
"We believe GO1 fits well into the Trailhead ecosystem and our vision of creating the life-long learner journey."
SEEK has been at the forefront of capital investments in GO1 since it led a $10 million Series A funding round in August 2018.
"GO1 are leaders in helping employees to connect with up-skilling and re-skilling opportunities across a broad range of industries," says SEEK's managing director corporate development, Ronnie Fink.
"We are pleased to support their growth as they continue to move into new markets and offer even more courses to workers."
Business News Australia
Author: Matt Ogg