Each quarter, TrainingIndustry.com provides a complete round-up of the mergers, acquisitions and investments that took place in the corporate training market.
With the new year underway, let’s take a moment to reflect on the deals we saw in the fourth quarter of 2021, many of which represent broader trends that we expect to shape the market in 2022.
Remote Learning Solutions
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of remote learning, with companies looking for virtual solutions to support and develop employees working from home. In fact, Training Industry pulse research found that remote training went from accounting for 50% of training delivery to 75% of training delivery as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a trend we expect to continue as more companies embrace remote and hybrid work and learning.
Thus, it makes sense that the eLearning and learning technologies sectors of the market saw ample activity last quarter.
Here are the deals we took note of:
- Udemy, a longtime leader in online learning, filed for a U.S. initial public offering (IPO) with a price of $29 per share. The company is now valued at about $4 billion.
- Fiverr expanded its online learning offerings with the acquisition of
- Volley, an asynchronous video messaging app, announced a $5.5 million investment from top investors and a group of all-star angels.
- 360Learning, a leader in collaborative learning, secured a $200 million investment from three investors: Sumeru, SoftBank and Silver Lake Waterman.
- BetterUp, a virtual professional coaching provider, closed a $300 million Series E funding round, bringing the company’s valuation to $4.7 billion and total funding to $600 million.
- Hone, a training platform that offers live, online learning, raised $16 million in a Series A funding round led by F-Prime Capital.
- Instructure Holdings, Inc., a digital learning ecosystem provider, entered into an agreement to acquire Kimono, a leader in cloud-based data integration and interoperability.
- Upskilling and coaching platform GoCoach secured an oversubscribed venture round of $3.5 million led by Panoramic Ventures. The investment will enable the platform to strengthen its focus on delivering personalized learning and coaching.
- Esme Learning Solutions, a leader in virtual professional development, secured $15 million in new funding to support its rapid global expansion amid an increased demand for skills-based digital credentials and badges
IT and Technical Training
The information technology (IT) and technical training market segment continued to thrive last quarter. This doesn’t come as a surprise: Training Industry research found that training on cloud computing and security/cybersecurity were in high demand in 2021, as organizations needed “quick and efficient digital transformation.”
In addition, IT and technical workers needed continuous upskilling and reskilling to adapt to market shifts and help their companies stay competitive, another trend we expect to continue in 2022.
Here are the IT and technical training deals we saw last quarter:
- NIIT Limited, a global skills and talent development company and manager training services provider, announced that it has acquired a major stake in RPS Consulting Private Limited, a provider of learning solutions on digital technologies.
- Digital curriculum solutions provider Imagine Learning acquired Robotify, a digital curriculum start-up.
- Skillsoft, a global leader in digital learning, entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Codecademy, a leading online learning platform for technical skills, for approximately $525 million in cash and stock. Codecademy will significantly expand Skillsoft’s capabilities in the high-growth tech and dev segment, Jeffrey R. Tarr, chief executive officer of Skillsoft, said in the press release.
Strategy, Alignment and Planning
The strategy segment of the corporate training market saw two deals last quarter:
- Korn Ferry announced that it has previously entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Lucas Group. “We are seizing this opportunity to help clients find the right talent who are highly agile with specialized skills and expertise to help them drive superior performance,” Gary D. Burnison, Korn Ferry’s CEO, said in the press release.
- Trivian, a leader in employee experience management, acquired GuideSpark, a leader in change communication.
Deals in the compliance training market segment included:
- Lecturio, a learning solutions provider for the law, medicine, tax and business industries, raised $45 million in growth capital led by Sterling Partners. The capital will be used to expand Lecturio’s global footprint, strengthen its product offerings in medical and nursing education and support a consolidation strategy in the “fragmented healthcare education solutions market,” according to the press release.
- Healthstream, a provider of workforce and provider solutions for the health care industry, acquired substantially all of the assets of Rivent Technologies, a health care technology company.
Other Deals by Market Segment
- Ambition, a leader in sales coaching and gamification, received a major growth investment from Primus Capital to accelerate growth and help organizations coach, recognize and retain sellers, which has become more difficult in hybrid and remote work environments.
- Vertex Aerospace acquired Raytheon Technologies Corporation’s Defense Training, Professional Services, Mission Critical Solutions, and Modernization and Sustainment business lines (“Defense Training and Mission Critical Solutions”).
- Lepaya, a leading provider of “power skills training” announced a $40 million Series B funding round. The investment is one of the largest funding rounds to date for an education technology company in Europe, according to the press release.
Measurement and Analytics
- Density Inc., an analytics platform for measuring and optimizing workplace performance, secured a $125 Series D funding round led by Kleiner Perkins, an existing investor.
- Wiley, a global research and education leader, acquired eJournalPress (EJP), a leading provider of software and support services for scholarly publishing.
What learning trends do you predict will shape the corporate training industry in 2022? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.