OTTAWA, Ontario, Canada — Sept. 13, 2021 — LearnExperts, developers of a creator platform that achieves rapid course creation through artificial intelligence (AI), announced the close of its oversubscribed $1.25M seed round with participation from Sand Hill North, MaRS IAF, and Capital Angel, Maple Leaf Angel, and Georgian Angel networks, including six women investors.
As demand for digital training solutions explodes, many learning technology companies are reporting 50 percent growth in a market estimated to be worth $25B by 2025. LearnExperts will use this investment to accelerate their market lead within the sector.
After 20 years working at technology companies such as Cognos, IBM, PTC, and Kinaxis, LearnExperts founder Sarah Sedgman decided in 2019 to leave the comforts of corporate life and fulfill a mission to disrupt the learning technology space.
“Years ago, when I was head of course development, I received a call from the CEO who needed my help because we were acquiring customers and releasing new features quickly, but our training lagged six to nine months after product release, which meant we couldn’t train our customers fast enough to get immediate value from our software and we risked losing them as customers,” said Sedgman.
While she was able to reengineer the course development process to ensure launch alongside the product release, which had a positive impact on customers, it was still a manual process and very time-consuming, taking months to develop the content and release the courses.
Sedgman’s experiences led to the development of a digital course creation platform that automatically transforms existing content into a course. LearnExperts guides the user to create a complete course with best practices applied through proprietary artificial intelligence. Starting with existing content that wasn’t purposebuilt for learning, the output is a consistent, ready-to-use course that looks just like an expert built it. LearnExperts cuts the time to create and launch a new course from months to days.
“We saw the value in LearnExperts immediately and knew that we wanted to be the lead investor,” said Ryan Henry, Partner at Sand Hill North. “We look for innovative technology companies that are reshaping the future of work for the better. The LearnExperts platform saves course creators days of effort and empowers them to easily build high-quality consistent courses.”
LearnExperts Secures Large Enterprise Customers in First Year
When LearnExperts began demonstrations of the platform, the interest was overwhelming, and customers wanted the solution right away. Originally planning to bootstrap the business, Sedgman decided to accelerate and raise capital. Now, the company is backed by an oversubscribed investment round and achieving steady customer acquisition.
“We were impressed by the team’s deep domain expertise coupled with a unique solution to address the challenge of developing content at a rapid pace,” said Kevin Madill, Investment Director, MaRS IAF. “We are excited to participate in this latest funding round, support the team, and be part of the LearnExperts journey.”
“What I love about Sarah is her passion, her thought leadership and energy. What I love about her and her team is that they’ve done this before within large technology corporations,” said Julia Elvidge, board member for Capital Angel Network. “We are excited to support LearnExperts and believe they have the right solution at the right time to deliver differentiated value to large companies around the world.”
“I have been selling software solutions for many years and when I met Sarah and her team, I saw a large opportunity for their platform to provide immediate value in an exploding market,” said Jim Brown, active Georgian Angel Network investor. “Their system is unique and their go to market strategy is strong, and I look forward to partnering alongside Sarah and her team with any advice needed.”
“I want to thank the Canadian Investor Community, Invest Ottawa, and several industry experts for the tremendous support,” said Sedgman. “Our investors Sand Hill North, MaRs IAF, Capital Angel Network, Maple Leaf Angel Network, Georgian Angel Network and the independent investors are strategic, savvy investors and have already become great partners.”
About Sand Hill North
Sand Hill North is an early-stage venture investment firm focused on supporting companies leveraging software to create solutions in the B2B space that will have a positive impact. They’re a team of founders and business operators who understand early-stage challenges. They partner with visionary entrepreneurs, running businesses with high growth potential, and an unrelenting commitment to ethical standards. For more information, please visit: https://sandhillnorth.vc/.
About MaRS IAF
MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF) is a leading seed stage fund investing in high-potential IT, health and cleantech companies in Ontario. IAF has over a 10-year history of successfully providing innovative firms with the capital, mentorship, and networks needed to validate ideas and bring products to market. Its mission is to keep Ontario’s talent and technology local while helping its companies go global. For more information, please visit: http://www.marsiaf.com.
About Capital Angel Network
Founded in 2009, the Capital Angel Network (CAN) has been investing in startups in the National Capital Region over the last decade. Since its inception, CAN members have invested over $30 million into almost 100 early-stage companies, 90 percent of which are based in the National Capital Region. This funding has also leveraged over $250 million in additional investment through government grants, syndication with other angel groups and venture capital funds. The portfolio has now seen nine exits that provided a positive return for investors. The membership base now consists of over 50 Angels, 20 percent of whom are women. The group made 10 new and nine follow-on investments totaling $5 million in investment. For more information, please visit: www.capitalangels.ca.
About Maple Leaf Angel Network
Maple Leaf Angels (MLA) is a not-for-profit organization and Toronto’s largest angel network. MLA offers Curbside Mentoring events and weekly complementary office hours to connect the brightest, most promising entrepreneurs with accredited investors in a streamlined process, who invest their capital and time supporting Canadian startup companies. Since their inception in 2007, they have deployed over $41M in 92 companies and have had 19 successful exits. While the majority of their portfolio is tech-focused companies, their Angels have invested in a plethora of businesses across various industries. They are strategically placed in terms of partnerships, collaborations, sponsorships, and geographical location, allowing them to provide quality deal-flow and access to the leaders and businesses of tomorrow. For more information, please visit: www.mapleleafangels.com.
About Georgian Angel Network
Georgian Angel Network (GAN) connects angel investors in the Barrie, South Georgian Bay, Orangeville and Muskoka/Huntsville regions with entrepreneurs needing equity capital to commercialize their innovations. GAN’s role is to serve as a catalyst for economic development, facilitating deal flow between accredited investors and high-quality investee opportunities as well as providing investor and investee education services. Since 2012, GAN’s members have invested over $20 million in 70 companies, through initial financings as well as follow-on financings. For more information, please visit: www.georgianangelnet.ca.