NEW YORK — March 11, 2021 — Section4, the leading platform in business upskilling, today announced a $30 million Series A, led by General Catalyst, with participation from Learn Capital and GSV Ventures. Total funding to date is now $37 million, including previous investments by Jeff Bewkes and Tim Armstrong, former CEOs of Time Warner and AOL, respectively. Larry Bohn and Paul Sagan will join the board of Section4 representing General Catalyst along with independent director Katherine Dillon. The deal closed as Section4 announced the expansion of its faculty with professors from NYU Stern, Kellogg, Stanford University, and Berkeley Haas. Section4’s financing will accelerate the expansion of Section4’s curriculum for the firm’s 10,000+ alumni and the development of its enterprise platform.
The business skills needed to win in the new economy are rapidly changing, and most firms are suffering from widening business skill gaps inside their organizations. In February 2020, McKinsey released a study on How Companies are Reskilling to Address Talent Gaps. The research findings detailed that nearly nine in ten executives and managers say their organizations either face skill gaps already or expect gaps to develop within the next five years.
“The Section4 platform was created to offer millions, vs. thousands, of aspiring professionals the opportunity to learn from the world’s premier business school instructors at a fraction of the cost and friction of the traditional MBA,” said Scott Galloway, Section4 Founder. “There are hundreds of thousands of firms looking for a platform to upskill their workforce, and we aim to fill that void with coursework and instruction that offers unprecedented value and accessibility. 88% of students have applied what they’ve learned within their organizations within three months of completing their Section4 course,” added Galloway.
Section4’s courses are delivered as “sprints”: intensive, immediately applicable online courses that combine synchronous lectures and community with pre-recorded video lessons and case studies. Sprints are organized into “stacks”: a comprehensive collection of courses by functional topic. Section4’s first three stacks are for leaders in Strategy, Marketing and Product Management. Section4 faculty are premier instructors in graduate business education, and many have been recognized as the “Best Instructor” at their respective institutions.
“Collectively we’ve known Scott for several decades and have seen him time and again envision the way a challenge can be met with innovation and then just make it happen. And he’s done it across industries,” said Larry Bohn, Managing Director, General Catalyst. “For this turn, Scott, Greg, and the Section4 team are rethinking how people skill and reskill throughout their careers. The solution has to be engaging and dynamic and this is the right team to build it.”
In the past twelve months, Section4 has enrolled more than 10,000 students in 97 countries worldwide. The students and alumni enrolled represent over 4,000 businesses including more than half of Fortune 100 companies. More than 33% of students taking Section4 classes are c-level executives. Additionally, Section4 is educating employees from companies including Airbnb, Boston Consulting Group, Coca-Cola, Google, Netflix, Nike, Procter & Gamble, Salesforce, Unilever, and Visa at manager, director and executive levels.
“Elite business education until now has been available to only a select few, and usually at the start of their career. But mid-career is the ‘make or break’ stage, when updated skills and competencies are needed to really accelerate career growth and organizational impact. And there is an urgent, global need for this kind of business education, demonstrated by the fact that 45% of our students are from outside of the US,” said Greg Shove, CEO of Section4.
“With this additional capital, we will rapidly expand our direct-to-consumer offering with more courses from the world’s best business school professors and industry practitioners. We will also expand our subscription-based enterprise platform for firms that want to upskill hundreds or thousands of employees at the same time. Our platform will provide the skills boost needed for a thriving career in the growth economy,” added Shove.
Section4 is democratizing elite business school education. With more than 10,000 students from over 4,000 companies across 97 countries, Section4 continues to expand the number of professors and courses to make elite business education and programming more accessible and affordable. Founded in 2019 by NYU Professor and entrepreneur, Scott Galloway, Section4 is backed by General Catalyst, Learn Capital, GSV Ventures as well as Activant and other individual investors including: Jeff Bewkes, and Tim Armstrong. Learn more at: https://www.section4.com/
ABOUT GENERAL CATALYST
General Catalyst is a venture capital firm that invests in powerful, positive change that endures — for our entrepreneurs, our investors, our people, and society. We support founders with a long-term view who challenge the status quo, partnering with them from seed to growth stage and beyond to build companies that withstand the test of time. With offices in San Francisco, Palo Alto, New York City, and Boston, the firm has helped support the growth of businesses such as: Airbnb, Deliveroo, Guild, Gusto, Hubspot, Livongo, Oscar, Samsara, Snap, Stripe, and Warby Parker. For more: www.generalcatalyst.com