New York-based training and e-learning provider Articulate Global closed a $1.5 billion funding round led by General Atlantic, and joined by funds managed by Blackstone Growth (BXG) and ICONIQ Growth.
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The round values the company, founded in 2002, at $3.75 billion. The company refers to it as a Series A funding because it marks its first funding round.
“We historically avoided taking capital, preferring to grow organically instead,” said founder and CEO Adam Schwartz.
Articulate decided to change paths after witnessing a combination of several macro trends driving the e-learning and training space over the last year, including more people working remotely and companies realizing engaged employees are more productive employees, said Schwartz.
Articulate’s software — which includes its Articulate 360 product for enterprises and its Rise.com solution typically for small and medium-sized businesses — helps companies create and deliver online training for everything ranging from sales to compliance to soft business skills like team building.
“We are transforming training for the new world of work,” Schwartz said
That new world of work has emerged as more companies are going remote but wanting to retain their culture and training. Schwartz said companies turned to Articulate as the pandemic set last year for more remote learning and the company sees this moment as an inflection point.
Anton Levy, co-president and global head of technology investing at General Atlantic, agreed Articulate sits at the intersection of compelling macro trends that have been amplified by COVID and remote work — the shift toward e-learning and online and digital education, the rise of “low-code” and productivity tools, and the consumerization of the enterprise.
“Global professional learning is a $300 billion market, largely offline, and we anticipate a significant shift toward digital, which is more cost-effective, can be delivered faster, and caters to increasing preferences for self-paced learning,” he said. “We believe these market tailwinds, combined with Articulate’s differentiated and dominant positioning, will continue to propel the growth of the business and create paths for further platform expansion.”
While the company does not release financial information, Articulate has more than 106,000 customers in 161 countries and now counts every Fortune 100 company as a customer.
The company still sees more room to grow in a market where companies in the U.S. alone spend $83 billion a year, said Lucy Suros, president at Articulate. While some companies like SkillSoft and Lynda offer off-the-shelf training catalogues, Articulate sees itself differently, helping companies develop and analyze their own training procedure.
With the company’s size, one may wonder why it did not just go public in what has been a favorable market? Schwartz said Articulate was more interested in forming strategic relationships with investors that could help it grow.
“We could have gone public if we just wanted to raise cash,” he said.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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