Australia-based Go1, an online hub for workforce training, announced it raised over $100 million in its latest funding round.
The round brings the 7-year-old company’s total funding to date to over $400 million and pushes its valuation to over $2 billion. Backers for the latest financing include AirTree Ventures, Blue Cloud Ventures, Madrona, Salesforce Ventures1 and SoftBank Vision Fund 2.
The round comes amid a boom period for global investment in startups developing tools and platforms focused on upskilling and reskilling workers.
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Since last year, per Crunchbase data, investors have poured billions into an assortment of companies in the skilling space, with another prominent unicorn, Denver-based Guild, announcing a $175 million Series F just last week. Primarily, these companies are focused on two areas: upskilling, which provides skills to grow in one’s current career, and reskilling, which involves training for an entirely new job.
Go1, a onetime Y Combinator startup that today counts a global audience of over 5 million learners, works with businesses to offer online learning in areas of need. Focus areas include such fields as digital marketing, financial compliance and app development.
Continued growth ahead
Although headquartered in the Brisbane, Australia, metro area, Go1 says North America has recently emerged as its largest market. The company said it is also beefing up its presence in Europe. Last month, it acquired e-learning provider Coorpacademy for an undisclosed sum as part of its strategy to extend French language content. It’s also expanding its reach in Southeast Asia, with offices in Malaysia and Singapore.
The expansion comes as employers in North America and other major markets face continued challenges attracting and retaining skilled workers in a host of job roles. One way to address skills gaps, employers are finding, is to invest in training existing workers for expanded roles. For many employees, meanwhile, upskilling can offer a path to greater job security or the opportunity for a more lucrative or desirable career path without necessarily having to switch employers.
Go1 CEO and co-founder Andrew Barnes told Crunchbase News via email that his company’s focus is on providing courses that are anywhere between five minutes and two hours. “This allows users to have the opportunity for continuous learning within the flow of the work day,” he wrote.
At the individual level, Barnes said the platform sees learners actively developing career skills ranging from time management to emotional intelligence. At the corporate level, there is a clear trend to upskill managers and reskill employees working in rapidly evolving domains like IT and software development. Some other hot areas of interest for users include design, process automation and project management.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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