The first quarter of 2022 proved to be a fruitful one for the corporate training industry. From innovative learning technologies to workforce development solutions and more, training providers were busy rolling out (and gaining funding for) solutions to help organizations upskill and reskill their people to stay ahead of the pace of change — which, in today’s dynamic business environment, is unlikely to slow down any time soon.
Each quarter, TrainingIndustry.com provides a comprehensive round-up of the mergers, acquisitions and investments that took place in the corporate training market. Here are the deals we took note of last quarter:
Learning Technologies Lead the Way
The learning technologies segment of the corporate training market consistently sees rapid growth: Recent Training Industry research found that spending on learning technologies increased in 2020 by roughly 22.5%, bringing the total spend to about $6.5 billion. The total spending on learning technologies is estimated to reach about $7.4 billion in 2022.
The demand for learning technologies can be contributed to a number of factors. Perhaps most notably, the recent rise in remote and hybrid work has left companies looking for solutions that can deliver training to dispersed learners in their moment of need.
Here are the deals we saw in this bustling segment of the market last quarter:
- Learning Pool acquired True Office Learning to bring adaptive learning to its learning experience platform (LXP).
- 360Learning, a collaborative learning Software as a Service (Saas) leader, acquired Looop, a leading learning management system (LMS) in the U.K.
- Docebo acquired Skillslive, an educational consulting agency, which will help expand its footprint in Australia and accelerate time-to-market by adding specialized talent and infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, according to the press release.
- Continu the “world’s first Learning Amplification Platform™,” secured a $13.5 Series A investment led by Five Elms Capital.
- Leading employee experience platform LumApps acquired HeyAxel, a “no-code HR automation and employee onboarding solution” to help LumApps achieve its vision of delivering a personalized experience for each employee, according to the press release.
- Talespin, a spatial computing company focused on workforce talent development and skills mobility, raised $20 million in Series C funding led by SEEK Investments to support learning in the metaverse.
- The SaaS solution for coaches, Profi, secured a $6 million seed funding round, announced in conjunction with its new corporate solution, Profi Team.
- Cornerstone OnDemand, a global leader in the adaptive workforce development space, entered into a definitive agreement to acquire EdCast, a leading LXP provider. The transaction is expected to close in Q2 of this year.
- ARuVR, an extended reality (XR) platform that allows users to create and deploy their own virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) training solutions, secured a $3 million investment from BGF.
- WorkRamp, an “all-in-one learning platform,” raised $40 million in Series C funding led by Salesforce Ventures, Slack Fund and Susa Ventures.
eLearning Brothers, which has established itself as a leading, comprehensive learning solutions provider, saw two acquisitions and an increase in funding last quarter:
- eLearning Brothers acquired Rehearsal, a video-based learning and coaching platform.
- eLearning Brothers acquired Origin Learning, which will help the company expand into new markets and boost its international presence.
- eLearning Brothers secured an additional $54 million investment from RLG Capital and Trinity Investors, which enabled it to acquire Rehearsal and Origin Learning and recapitalize its debt.
The compliance training sector of the market saw three deals last quarter, which showcased the need for mental and behavioral health training as well as governance, risk and compliance (GRC) solutions:
- headversity, a provider of preventative mental health training technology for employers, closed a $10 million Series A funding round led by Level Equity. With the funding, headversity plans to “accelerate its delivery of evidence-based workforce training to upskill resilience, behavioral health and psychological safety for the workforce,” the press release
- Simplify Compliance, a portfolio company of Leeds Equity Partners, acquired Human Capital Institute (HCI), a provider of human resources and talent management leadership education and training.
- Colibri Group (“Colibri”), a professional education company with brands that provide learning to licensed professionals, acquired Becker Professional Education and OnCourse Learning, which will boost Colibri’s GRC offerings.
IT and Technical Training
In the IT and technical training segment of the market:
- Cengage Group entered into an agreement to acquire Infosec, a leading cybersecurity education provider, for $190.8 million. With the acquisition, Cengage Group will “expand into the cybersecurity professional training market” and increase its growing Workforce Skills business, according to the press release.
- Cybersecurity and digital skills training platform ThriveDX, formerly known as “Hacker U,” announced a $75 million investment from NightDragon and its affiliates.
The workforce development section of the market saw four deals last quarter:
- Leading global learning solutions provider Pearson acquired Credly, a digital workforce credentialing provider. The acquisition of Credly, in which Pearson already had a nearly 20% stake, will expand the company’s presence in the workforce skills sector.
- Connecteam, which supports learning, communications and more for deskless teams, raised $120 million in Series C funding. With this investment, the company’s total funding has reached $160 million.
- Learn In, a platform that helps employees build skills “precisely aligned to company growth and success,” raised $10 million in a Series A funding round led by Firework Ventures.
- ChartHop, a people analytics platform acquired Gather, a people operations workflow builder. The acquisition will help ChartHop build automated employee workflows across the employee life cycle.
The professional development segment of the market also saw some activity last quarter:
- KnowFully Learning Group, a continuing professional education provider, acquired two professional education brands in the health and wellness space: American Fitness Professionals and Psychotherapy.net.
- Reforge, a career development platform for professionals in growth, product, marketing and engineering, announced a $60 million Series B funding round led by Insight Partners.
- FutureFit AI, an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered career navigation platform, announced that it closed a $5.7 million funding round in late 2021 to help meet the demand for career navigation and reskilling that “has skyrocketed in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Other Deals By Market Segment
- Lattice, a leading people management platform, announced a new valuation of $3 billion after closing a $175 million funding round from Thrive Capital, Elad Gil and others.
- WorkHound, a leader in the employee feedback and management space, secured a $12 million Series A funding round led by Level Equity.
- Disco, a “Shopify-like platform” for knowledge creators and companies to build live learning empires, closed a $15 million Series A funding round led by GSV Ventures.
- Electives, a learning platform that matches employers with teachers based on employee preference data and organizational needs, secured $8 million in a Series A funding round led by Accomplice and G20 Ventures, with participation from Boston Seed Capital.
- Netex, a Spanish technology company specializing in eLearning solutions, acquired Virtual College, a major player in the U.K. eLearning market.
- Second Nature, an AI-powered sales coaching solution, announced the company’s launch alongside a $12.5 million Series A funding round.
- Enboarder, a “people activation platform” that creates science-based, human-centric journeys for talent development, secured $32 million in a Series B funding round led by NewSpring.
What learning trends do you predict will shape the corporate training industry next quarter? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.