Learnsoft lands first external funding to expand its professional development platform – TechCrunch

In the corporate sector, upskilling (teaching employees additional skills) and reskilling (training employees in an entirely different skill set for a new role) are priorities across organizations, much of the interest being driven by various pandemic-fueled resignations. and a desperate need to retain top talent. A recent report by the Society for Human Resource Management found that more than half of U.S. employers (52%) now offer refresher training, while 73% offer initial training to help workers do their current jobs. Indeed, companies such as JPMorgan, Accenture, and Verizon have launched high-profile, million- and billion-dollar programs designed to help their workers upskill.

It’s no surprise, then, that the market for learning management systems – the software that delivers training programs to workers – is expected to reach $38 billion by 2027. Between February 2021 and February 2022, investors have invested over $2.1 billion in an assortment of businesses. in the “skills” space, according to data from Crunchbase.

One vendor riding the wave is Learnsoft, which today announced it has raised $16.7 million in a Series A round led by Elsewhere Partners. Founded in 1987 by Brian Wachsberger, Learnsoft began as a consulting company that sold onsite technology certification training. But when Learnsoft’s customers started asking for e-learning solutions with compliance functionality, the company brought in Kishor Amberkar as CTO to develop and launch a learning management system.

“Learnsoft’s first customers [system] were healthcare systems, and the platform naturally evolved with differentiated functionality specific to compliance-focused, instructor-led training needs in that industry,” new CEO Robbie Abt told TechCrunch in an interview by E-mail. “With the new funding, Learnsoft has refocused solely on its software-as-a-service based revenue management system and learning management system platform.”

Learnsoft offers a content- and feature-agnostic configurable platform designed to integrate with existing third-party human resource systems. With Learnsoft, companies can configure training to run automatically and track metrics such as accreditation, as well as generate evidence of accreditation and certifications for management reviews and audits.

Picture credits: Learnsoft

One of Learnsoft’s most unique capabilities is AI-powered learning recommendations based on users’ current positions. The platform creates a job profile divided into sections, including requirements, skills and performance, each of which can be accompanied by training courses. If there is a gap or if the algorithms find that a worker is interested in certain paths as part of a talent development plan, the system will assign and recommend more training within the organization.

“It indirectly helps the organization with its future talent pool,” Abt said. “Traditional programs — and old-guard tech companies — don’t offer the ability to bring all types of training together on a single platform (e.g., instructor-led, digital), and they lack the features that learners and workers need to stay engaged with the content.”

Rivals like LearnUpon, WorkRamp and Go1 would surely be different. But Abt points to Learnsoft’s growing customer base as proof that the company manages to stand out from the crowd. Learnsoft currently serves 19 focused healthcare and government customers, including the American Heart Association, Iowa Veterans Home, Kansas Homeland Security, MaineHealth, and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Abt says the company has been profitable “since its inception” – and still is.

“We typically come across large training players like Cornerstone, Oracle, Workday and other enterprise LMS solutions, but they can’t provide the same level of industry-specific, compliance-ready solutions as we do. can,” said Abt. “Traditional HR technology players do not offer Software-as-a-Service-ready platforms designed to meet the needs of high-compliance industries such as healthcare and government in a user-friendly way for users, instructors and leaders.”

According to Abt, the bulk of the new Series A funds – Learnsoft’s first external round – will be devoted to a “more sophisticated” go-to-market strategy and expanding sales and marketing efforts, as well as to strengthening product development. As part of this last element, Learnsoft plans in the coming months to launch an application to improve the mobile experience.

Elsewhere Partners founder Chris Pacitti added in an emailed statement: ‘The relationship between employers and workers has changed dramatically in recent years thanks to pandemic pressures and a growing workforce. works remotely. Companies that take a cookie-cutter approach to training and development pay the price when it comes to recruitment and retention… In addition to easily meeting employee needs and increasing demand for opportunities for upskilling and reskilling, private and public sector organizations also need adaptability in their learning systems and technologies that meet changing compliance requirements. Learnsoft has a proven approach, a technology stack, and a superior customer service model that’s ready to scale. »

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