BERLIN — Feb. 18, 2020 — Sharpist, the digital ecosystem for personalized learning & development, today announced that it has raised $5 million in seed financing led by Vorwerk Ventures. The financing round was joined by co-investors btov Partners and APX. As part of the investment, Holger Witte, Partner at Vorwerk Ventures, will join Sharpist’s Advisory Board.
The global market for professional learning and development is estimated to be worth $130 billion in 2020 (1). To capture the market opportunity, Sharpist plans to invest the financing in deepening the capabilities of its industry-leading personalized learning platform, scaling its implementations with new and existing clients around the world, and building its global network of world-class coaches and team of experts in Berlin.
“As the loyalty felt by top talent toward employers has eroded, the global War for Talent has only continued to intensify in recent years,” said Fabian, COO and co-founder of Sharpist. “In the past year, we’ve shown that our personalized learning platform is a proven and scalable remedy for increasing engagement among employees, and gives HR leaders the measurement capabilities they desperately need. In Vorwerk Ventures, we’ve found a partner that shares our vision and ambition, and we’re excited to be entering 2020 with great momentum and optimism about the road ahead.”
The seed financing comes at a time of significant growth and expansion for Sharpist. In the past year, the company has led hundreds of successful pilot implementations at blue-chip enterprises around the world, including Allianz, Porsche, CBRE and others. Sharpist has converted a full 95 percent of its pilots to date into large-scale implementations; as a result, the company achieved 400 percent growth in its active user base in Q4 of 2019 alone. Sharpist’s learner community has lauded the company: Sharpist has achieved an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars, and 95 percent of learners agree that they would refer Sharpist to their colleagues.
Holger Witte, Partner at Vorwerk Ventures, said “Today’s workers expect their employer to offer meaningful contributions to their skillset, future professional prospects and sense of career balance. Sharpist is leading the way in facilitating measurable, personalized learning at scale to help top employers deliver on this expectation, and come out ahead in the global War for Talent. We are excited to partner with their passionate and talented leadership team.”
Khurram Masood announced as new Chief Product Officer
Sharpist additionally announced today that Khurram Masood has joined the company’s management team as its first-ever Chief Product Officer. Mr. Masood brings 15 years of experience in the fields of technology and professional development, including most recently having co-founded and served as COO of the African Leadership University, a leading higher education institution with several locations in Africa that was named one of Fast Company’s Top 50 Most Innovative Companies in 2019. Prior to ALU, Mr. Masood was an Associate Partner at the global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company.
“Sharpist has rapidly become one of the most innovative and impactful digital learning solutions in the world on the strength of its product” said Mr. Masood. “The quality of Sharpist’s personalized learning content and global network of coaches is unparalleled, and I look forward to working closely with the team to expand our market leadership and accelerate even further the pace of delivering innovative new solutions to our partners, learners and coaches.”
“Khurram Masood is a true global citizen with a life mission to deliver personalized learning to the world’s workforces,” said Mr. Niedballa. “Khurram’s extensive experience and international perspective in our field qualify him as the ideal product leader for our digital ecosystem, which is already the most globally-distributed network of coaches and learners, and will continue to grow under his vision and guidance. We’re fortunate to have him on board.”
(1) Source: Deloitte, “Corporate learning redefined”, 2014
Sharpist is the digital ecosystem for personalized learning and development. Professionals at all levels and stages of their careers use Sharpist to grow, develop and stay engaged at work. The Sharpist ecosystem offers access to a global network of world-class executive coaches, digitally-enabled development plans that deliver measurable, personalized learning at scale, and a mobile-first platform that can be accessed anywhere, anytime. Since being founded in 2018, employees at hundreds of organizations in over 30 markets have completed tens of thousands of sessions through Sharpist. Powered by a team of over 40 experts in technology, workplace psychology and professional development, the company is headquartered in Berlin, Germany. For more information, please visit www.sharpist.com.