Ed Tech: Corporate Learning

Modern tools to train and motivate staff, and bridge emerging skill gaps.

Overview

Educational technology (EdTech) refers to the management of teaching and learning materials and processes using technological tools and applications. The terms online learning, virtual learning, and e-learning are often interchangeable with EdTech.

Reliance on EdTech for enterprise-level workforce training is increasing, as organizations seek to onboard new employees, retain and motivate staff, and bridge skill gaps with limited learning and development (L&D) resources. Many specialized jobs also require continuing education and accreditation which can be supported by EdTech tools and services.

The modern workforce’s drive to learn new skills and take on new challenges have also influenced the adoption of EdTech with e-learning now representing 21%-40% of the median organization’s learning portfolio in contrast with 1%-20% five years ago.

What's driving this industry?

Industry Updates

CoachHub acquires MoovOne
Sep 23
GrowthSpace secures USD 15 million in Series A funding
Sep 22
BetterUp acquires Motive and Impraise
Sep 17
View all updates
Market Sizing

The US educational technology corporate learning market could reach USD 12.8-20.2 billion by 2025

Conservative case

USD 12.8 Bn

Base case

USD 16.2 Bn

Expansion case

USD 20.2 Bn

USD billion0510152025202020212022202320242025
View details

COVID-19 IMPACT

In-person training programs are migrating to virtual formats as companies rethink their learning strategies

  • Cornerstone OnDemand reported that 50% of HR departments at client organizations moved their instructor-led, in-person training to a virtual, online format. One client, a large global e-tailer who shifted to a 100% remote workforce, is transitioning from instructor-led training to online training with content from social platforms and Cornerstone.

  • The number of academic and professional learners using BenchPrep reached nearly seven million in December 2020, with new customers growing 3x year-over-year (YoY), and the number of organizations using the platform growing by 55% YoY. 

New training needs have emerged

  • During March 2020 and April 2020, Skillsoft witnessed substantial growth in course completions across several topics including “Developing Emotional Intelligence”, “Exploring Virtual Collaboration”, and “Facing Virtual Team Challenges”.

  • Between March 2020 and December 2020, Coursera reported more than 69 million enrollments, an increase of about 430% YoY. The two most popular courses were “The Science of Well-Being” (more than 2.5 million enrollments), and “Covid-19 Contact Tracing” (more than one million enrollments).

  • Cornerstone OnDemand reported that HR teams at client organizations had assigned and created more than 1.8 million new courses, of which 11,000 are Covid-19-related, as of April 2020. Further, more than 56,000 Covid-19-related courses had been taken through Cornerstone Cares, a free public learning resource launched in March 2020.

  • Udemy for Business reported an increase in mental health skills course consumption in industries with essential workers such as the government, nonprofit, and healthcare sectors.

Market Mapping

Corporate educational technology (EdTech) products and services can be broadly categorized as content-focused, service-focused or providing a delivery solution.

The EdTech corporate learning market is dominated by incumbents specializing in content, services, delivery solutions or a combination of these factors. Disruptive EdTech startups are mostly early- and growth-stage firms that have attracted investor attention on the strength of high-quality or unique content, efficient delivery methods, affordability or a combination of these factors.

Incumbents
Growth
Early
Seed
Pre seed
Learning content
?
MOOC
?
Content development tool
?
Coaching, tutoring, and mentoring
?
LMS, LXP, LCMS
?
Learning and engagement tool
?
Support service
?
FranklinCovey
FranklinCovey
FranklinCovey
FranklinCovey
FranklinCovey
FranklinCovey
FranklinCovey
Skillsoft
Pearson
Graham Holdings
Cengage
General Assembly
Zovio
Learning Curve Group
FranklinCovey
Salesforce
Berlitz Corporation
Wiley
SAP
Eruditus
Guild Education
Cornerstone OnDemand
BetterUp
Immersive Labs
OpenSesame
ExecOnline
Preply
eLearning Brothers
Voxy
Codecool
StudyTube
Rethink First
ThriveDX
Docebo
Speexx
MindEdge Learning
Learning Pool
Learning Technologies Group
Connect For Education (C4E)
Upstryve
Thrive Global
Multiverse
Area9 Lyceum
Section4
Product School
Interplay Learning
Talespin
Living Security
Sana Labs
TRANSFR
SV Academy
Tovuti
Growth Tribe
Cyber Guru
Curricula
Immersive Factory
Workera.ai
Ethena
Esme Learning Solutions
Sales Impact Academy
Vantage Point
Learn To Win
Tigerhall
Learn In
Praxis Labs
Rising Team
headversity
edyoucated
StackFuel
LinkedIn Learning
Pluralsight
Zovio
Penn Foster
Coursera
Degreed
Udemy
Go1
UpGrad
Codecademy
Corporate Finance Institute
Adobe
Sigma Resources
SAP
Articulate
EdCast
eLearning Brothers
The Glimpse Group
Docebo
MindEdge Learning
Learning Pool
Intellum
Learning Technologies Group
SmarterU
Connect For Education (C4E)
Area9 Lyceum
Mursion
WorkRamp
Qstream
Talespin
DeepHow
Spekit
Moth+Flame
NovoEd
Skillsoft
Zovio
BetterUp
CoachHub
Torch Leadership Labs
Growth Space
Hone
Campfire
Skillsoft
Salesforce
Adobe
SAP
Microsoft
Emyode
Articulate
Seismic
Cornerstone OnDemand
Go1
Whatfix
Blackboard
EdCast
Absorb Software
Learnosity
360Learning
Cypher Learning
eLearning Brothers
Axonify
BenchPrep
StudyTube
Docebo
Learning Pool
Intellum
Atrixware
TalentLMS
Learning Technologies Group
SmarterU
Connect For Education (C4E)
eloomi
Skilljar
Trainual
WorkRamp
Tovuti
MobieTrain
Curricula
Cambridge Spark
Auzmor
KloudLearn
Spekit
Arist
Learner Mobile
Kahoot!
Rallyware
Strivr
Mursion
Attensi
Qstream
Talespin
Sana Labs
Immersive VR Education
TRANSFR
Virti
Emmersion
Moth+Flame
Motive
Pathways Training and eLearning
Mindmarker
Pearson
Parchment
StudyTube
MindEdge Learning
Credly
EmPath

The Disruptors

Disruptors in the educational technology (EdTech) corporate learning market cater to the learning needs and styles of the modern workforce using emerging and evolving technology.

Content providers such as Coursera, Degreed and Guild Education focus on offering a wide breadth of high-quality content by partnering with universities to offer their programs to individual learners and corporate workforces. Other startups such as Strivr, TRANSFR, Mursion, and Talespin offer simulation-based learning using virtual reality (VR) technologies. Another approach provides platforms that connect learners with instructors, either on a large scale such as Udemy, or on a one-on-one basis such as Torch Leadership Labs, CoachHub, and Multiverse. Udemy and Coursera are leaders in the corporate client content space with 7,000 and 2,300 organizations using their platforms, respectively.

Delivery solutions providers seek to disrupt the traditional learning management system (LMS) market by hosting user-generated content, and by offering new personalized, gamified, and micro-learning models. Leaders in the delivery solutions space include Blackboard, Cornerstone OnDemand, TalentLMS, Articulate, and Cypher Learning.

Content providers have attracted more funding than service and delivery solution providers as a result of pandemic-driven demand for workforce upskilling and reskilling solutions.

Learning content

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Learning Technologies Group
Public - Market cap Unknown
Docebo
Public - Market cap Unknown
Cornerstone OnDemand
Public - Market cap Unknown
Eruditus
813
Guild Education
379
BetterUp
270
Thrive Global
146
Immersive Labs
123
OpenSesame
97
ExecOnline
88
Multiverse
64
Area9 Lyceum
53
Preply
51
eLearning Brothers
38
Section4
37
Voxy
32
Product School
25
Interplay Learning
25
Workera.ai
21
Talespin
21
Living Security
20
Sana Labs
20
Codecool
16
StudyTube
13
Rethink First
12
TRANSFR
12
SV Academy
12
ThriveDX
10
MindEdge Learning
0
Learning Pool
Unknown
Connect For Education (C4E)
Unknown
Upstryve
Unknown
Watchlist
?
Ethena
Tovuti
Esme Learning Solutions
Growth Tribe
Speexx
Sales Impact Academy
Cyber Guru
Vantage Point
Learn To Win
Tigerhall
Learn In
Praxis Labs
Curricula
Rising Team
headversity
edyoucated
Immersive Factory
StackFuel

MOOC

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Coursera
446
Degreed
390
Udemy
311
Go1
284
UpGrad
201
Codecademy
88
Corporate Finance Institute
48

Content development tool

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Learning Technologies Group
Public - Market cap Unknown
Docebo
Public - Market cap Unknown
Articulate
1500
EdCast
107
Area9 Lyceum
53
eLearning Brothers
38
Mursion
35
WorkRamp
27
The Glimpse Group
23
Qstream
22
Talespin
21
Spekit
16
DeepHow
9
MindEdge Learning
0
Learning Pool
Unknown
Connect For Education (C4E)
Unknown
NovoEd
Unknown
Intellum
Unknown
SmarterU
Unknown
Watchlist
?
Moth+Flame

Coaching, tutoring, and mentoring

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
BetterUp
270
CoachHub
133
Torch Leadership Labs
48
Growth Space
15
Campfire
3
Watchlist
?
Hone

LMS, LXP, LCMS

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Learning Technologies Group
Public - Market cap Unknown
Docebo
Public - Market cap Unknown
Cornerstone OnDemand
Public - Market cap Unknown
Blackboard
Public - Market cap Unknown
Articulate
1500
Seismic
427
Go1
284
Whatfix
140
EdCast
107
eloomi
79
Absorb Software
59
Skilljar
53
Learnosity
52
360Learning
43
Cypher Learning
40
eLearning Brothers
38
Axonify
35
Trainual
34
BenchPrep
28
WorkRamp
27
Spekit
16
StudyTube
13
Learning Pool
Unknown
Connect For Education (C4E)
Unknown
Intellum
Unknown
SmarterU
Unknown
Atrixware
Unknown
TalentLMS
Unknown
Watchlist
?
Tovuti
MobieTrain
Arist
Curricula
Cambridge Spark
Auzmor
KloudLearn
Learner Mobile

Learning and engagement tool

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Kahoot!
Public - Market cap Unknown
Strivr
51
Mursion
35
Attensi
26
Qstream
22
Talespin
21
Sana Labs
20
Immersive VR Education
16
TRANSFR
12
Virti
12
Pathways Training and eLearning
Unknown
Watchlist
?
Emmersion
Moth+Flame
Rallyware
Motive
Mindmarker

Support service

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Parchment
66
Credly
18
StudyTube
13
MindEdge Learning
0
Watchlist
?
EmPath

Learning Technologies Group

Brighton, UK-based Learning Technologies Group PLC (LTG) serves the corporate digital learning and talent management market through several educational technology (EdTech) businesses. Since its formation in 2013, the company has expanded through several acquisitions and product launches with over 4,000 customers as of April 2020. The US accounts for about 70% of the group’s business while the UK and Europe account for most of the rest. 

LTG’s content and services division includes its LEO Learning content, media, tools, and platform provider, the LEO GRC (formerly Eukleia) provider of governance, risk management, and compliance training solutions, and PRELOADED, a games studio. 

The company’s software and platforms division accounts for about 70% of LTG’s revenue. This division includes PeopleFluent, a US-based provider of cloud-based integrated recruiting, talent management, and compensation management solutions (acquired in 2018); Gomo, a multi-device authoring tool; Rustici Software, a provider of e-learning standards conformance solutions (acquired in 2016); Watershed, a learning record store (acquired in 2018); Affirmity, a supplier of workforce compliance and diversity solutions (launched in 2018); VectorVMS, a vendor management solution; Breezy HR, a recruiting platform (acquired in 2019); Instilled, a learning experience platform (launched in 2019); and Open LMS, a large commercial Moodle provider (acquired from Blackboard in March 2020).

LTG’s PeopleFluent business was expanded through the acquisition of Reflektive, provider of an engagement and analytics platform (January 2021), and Bridge, a corporate LMS for mid-enterprise organisations, from Instructure Inc. (February 2021) The acquisition complements PeopleFluent, which serves the large enterprise market, and BreezyHR, which serves the small and medium-sized business market. In March 2021, Visier, a provider of workforce analytics and planning applications, made its analytics available on PeopleFluent, with a full launch out of beta testing scheduled for later in 2021. The company enhanced Bridge’s data interpretation capabilities in May 2021 with the introduction of Bridge Analytics to help organizations measure the impact of their employee learning and performance programs.

Meanwhile, LTG expanded Affirmity's geographic reach and its online training and diversity consulting capabilities with the acquisition of PDT Global, a diversity and inclusion training and consultancy firm, in February 2021.

LTG has strengthened its Open LMS business through the acquisition of Australian firm eCreators, and eThink Education, a US-based provider of e-learning solutions that support the Moodle and Totara learning management systems (LMS), in 2020. In February 2021, Open LMS announced plans to release its Moodle modules and enhancements in line with its commitment to be fully open source by the end of 2021. The business will also increase its investment in developing learning management system (LMS) features and code for the e-learning market. Additionally, the business is making its Learnbook LMS open source and rebranding it “Open LMS Work.” In May 2021, Open LMS partnered with K16 Solutions, a provider of LMS course migration, course design, and course archiving services, to make its own LMS migration and onboarding process for new clients easier. In August 2021, Open LMS announced a merger of its Elearn magazine with  LMSPulse, a news source for the elearning community, which reflects an increased commitment to provide open source content to the elearning community. Further, Rustici Software’s position in the e-learning standards market was bolstered with the acquisition of US-based JCA Solutions, a provider of products and services supporting e-learning standards, in 2020. In August 2021, Open LMS partnered with Mediamaisteri Oy, a Moodle-based EdTech services provider, to expand into the Finnish and Nordic markets.

In July 2021, LTG acquired GP Strategies Corporation, an NYSE-listed workforce transformation solutions provider, which will become a division of LTG and be delisted from the NYSE. The acquisition allows LTG to deliver enhanced training, consulting, and business improvement services tailored to clients while expanding GP Strategies’ product offering and footprint. The company raised GBP 85 million (USD 118 million) in a share placing to part-fund the acquisition.

Segment:
Learning content
Disruptor Funding History

Learning content:

Docebo
Cornerstone OnDemand
Eruditus
Guild Education
BetterUp
Thrive Global
Immersive Labs
OpenSesame
ExecOnline
Multiverse
Area9 Lyceum
Preply
eLearning Brothers
Section4
Voxy
Product School
Interplay Learning
Workera.ai
Talespin
Living Security
Sana Labs
Codecool
StudyTube
Rethink First
TRANSFR
SV Academy
ThriveDX
MindEdge Learning
Ethena
Tovuti
Esme Learning Solutions
Growth Tribe
Speexx
Sales Impact Academy
Cyber Guru
Vantage Point
Learn To Win
Tigerhall
Learn In
Praxis Labs
Curricula
Rising Team
headversity
edyoucated
Immersive Factory
StackFuel

MOOC:

Coursera
Degreed
Udemy
Go1
UpGrad
Codecademy
Corporate Finance Institute

Content development tool:

The Incumbents

Corporate educational technology incumbents bolt on acquisitions to build broad portfolios 

Leading content providers such as Skillsoft, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight maintain extensive reach by catering to both individual learners and corporate clients with a mix of freemium and subscription-based business models. That reach is extended through partnerships with firms in the service and delivery solutions space.

Many of these companies also operate across academic institutions as well as business organizations. Kaplan’s (a business of Graham Holdings) higher education programs, professional training, certifications, test preparation, and student support services are used by academic institutions and businesses, while Pearson’s solutions span PreK-12 education, higher education, and industry and professional education.

Distributors of learning management systems include SAP, Adobe, and Microsoft. These companies have grown their portfolios by expanding—often by way of acquisition—into content and support services such as authoring and communication, as well as human resource functions like recruitment, compensation, and performance evaluation.

Own technology

Acquisition

Partnership

Skillsoft
check
check
LinkedIn Learning
check
check
Pearson
check
Graham Holdings
check
Pluralsight
check
check
Cengage
check
General Assembly
check
Zovio
check
check
check
Penn Foster
check
Learning Curve Group
check
check
FranklinCovey
check
check
Salesforce
check
Berlitz Corporation
check
check
Adobe
check
check
Wiley
Sigma Resources
check
check
SAP
check
check
check
Microsoft
check
Emyode
check
Skillsoft

Founded in 1998, Skillsoft provides a suite of business learning and development solutions. Its portfolio includes three systems: Skillsoft learning content, the Percipio intelligent learning experience platform, and the SumTotal suite for talent development.

Skillsoft's cloud-based corporate learning content includes courses, videos, books, and other resources on leadership development, business skills, digital transformation, technology and development, and compliance. The Percipio platform helps to accelerate learning through an engaging, user experience-based interface. The SumTotal suite supports the entire employee lifecycle with technology focused on talent acquisition, learning management, and talent management. As of October 2020, the company had more than 45 million users across its platforms, including 70% of Fortune 1000 companies.

In June 2020, the company voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and in August announced that it had emerged from bankruptcy after reducing its debt load. In October 2020, Churchill Capital Corp agreed to merge with Skillsoft. The combined entity then acquired Global Knowledge Training LLC, an IT and professional skills company. The new entity is called Skillsoft and commenced trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in June 2021.

In February 2021, Skillsoft partnered with Accredible, a digital credentialing platform, to issue badges to users of its Percipio intelligent learning experience platform, and to all customers accessing Skillsoft content through an integration with a learning management system or learning experience platform. In June 2021, the company acquired Pluma Inc., a digital professional development and coaching platform. The acquisition marks Skillsoft’s foray into individualized coaching. The company will integrate Pluma into its Percipio platform, deepening its leadership development portfolio. Skillsoft users will gain access to Pluma’s coaches, while Pluma customers will gain access to Skillsoft’s blended learning model and content.

In June 2021, the company appointed Sarah Hilty as its chief legal officer and appointed Gary W. Ferrera as CFO in August 2021. 

In September 2021, Skillsoft released its quarterly earnings report for Q2 FY 2022 ending July 31, 2021 which reported adjusted revenue of USD 176 million (an increase of 5% YoY), and a net loss of USD 18 million. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was USD 43 million (up 2% YoY) with a total bookings growth of 18%. The company also refinanced its long-term debt, reducing annual cash interest expense by around USD 25 million, and updated its outlook for FY2022 adjusted revenue to USD 670–690 million.

Notable Investors

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