Children are back in school, and the leaves are beginning to change colors as we enter the last quarter of the year. As we do every quarter, let’s take a look at the deals that occurred in the third quarter of 2020.
In a year when health and safety training is more vital than ever, the compliance training sector of the market saw some activity this quarter:
- KnowFully Learning Group, which sells continuing professional education and exam preparation courses to the health care, accounting and finance sectors, acquired CME Outfitters, an accredited provider of continuing medical education (CME).
- Veriforce, a provider of supply chain risk management solutions that include training, acquired ComplyWorks, a compliance management solution provider.
- ACTO, a life sciences education and engagement platform company, closed a $11.5 million Series A funding round led by Resolve Growth Partners in August and acquired mobile learning company Scrimmage in September.
- SafetyCulture, a workplace safety and quality platform, acquired EdApp, a mobile training company.
- Within3, a life science collaboration and communication solution provider, closed more than $100 million in growth funding led by Insight Partners.
- LifeSpeak Inc., an employee mental health and wellness education platform provider, raised $42 million in growth equity from Round13 Growth Fund, Kensington Capital Partners and Roynat Capital.
- Thriver, formerly known as Platterz, raised a $33 million Series B funding round led by Viola Growth.
IT and Technical Training
Among companies that provide training products and services for information technology (IT) teams and professionals:
- Tech Data, a technology distributor whose businesses include training provider ExitCertified, announced its acquisition by “an affiliate of certain funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, Inc.,” according to the press release.
- RangeForce, which provides cloud-based training for cybersecurity professionals, announced a $16 million Series A funding round led by Energy Impact Partners.
- IT readiness and certification training company QuickStart Learning, Inc. closed $10 million in growth financing.
Fortune reported in August that Eruditus, a Mumbai, India-based company that sells executive education courses, raised $113 million in Series D funding led by Leeds Illuminate and Prosus Ventures. Also that month, Ceresa, a platform aimed at improving equitable access to leadership development, closed an early seed funding round of over $1 million led by LiveOak Venture Partners and Next Coast Venture Partners.
In the always-busy learning technologies segment of the training market:
- Wazoku, an “idea management software and services firm,” announced a $1.57 investment led by Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Venture Capital Trust (VCT) specialist Calculus Capital. The firm also announced the acquisition of InnoCentive, an innovation and crowdsourcing platform.
- Employee mentoring software company MentorcliQ announced the acquisition of River Software, another employee mentoring software company.
- Learning Technologies Group (LTG) acquired Patheer and its talent development and analytics platform, which was absorbed into PeopleFluent to create a new offering, PeopleFluent Talent Mobility. LTG also announced an agreement to acquire eCreators, a Moodle provider in Australia.
- Kahoot!, a Norway-based learning platform company, acquired employee engagement platform provider Actimo for $26 to $33 million.
- Help Lightning, Inc., a company whose “virtual expertise software … enables enterprises to accelerate the transformation of their field service and call center organizations to profit centers,” closed an $8 million Series A funding round led by Resolve Growth Partners.
Synapse, a software company that “streamlines training intake, project prioritization, capacity planning and content design processes,” announced a $1.5 million seed II financing round from BDC Capital, Ripple Ventures, Differential Ventures and Generation Ventures.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
- Varjo, a virtual reality (VR) and cross reality (XR) software and hardware company for enterprise applications including training, closed a $54 million Series C funding round.
- TeamViewer, a remote connectivity solutions provider, announced an agreement to acquire Ubimax, a wearable computing and augmented reality (AR) solutions provider for the frontline workforce.
- TechCrunch reported that Osso VR, which uses VR for medical device training, closed a $14 million round of financing led by the investment arm of health care company Kaiser Permanente. Similarly, Crunchbase reported that VR surgical training platform Immertec closed a $6 million Series A funding round.
- Fortune reported that VRAI, an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered VR training provider for dangerous environments, raised $1.42 in seed funding.
- TPC Training, a training, performance and compliance company, acquired Simutech Multimedia, which sells simulation-based training for maintenance and operations professionals.
Measurement and Analytics
In July, Perceptyx, an employee survey and analytics platform, acquired the employee insights business of Kantar, a consulting company. The following month, Russell Reynolds Associates, a leadership advisory and executive search firm, acquired the cultural analytics business of Workplace Analytics, LLC.
In the area of self-paced eLearning and live virtual training:
- Enduvo, which sells a platform for creating and sharing interactive, immersive content, announced a $4 million seed capital funding round led by MATH Venture Partners.
- MasterD, a vocational training and educational services company based in Spain, announced that KKR agreed to acquire a majority stake in the company, according to Fortune.
- Coursera announced $130 million in Series F funding led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA).
- Skillshare, an online learning community for creative professionals, announced $66 million in funding led by OMERS Growth Equity.
- ODILO, a Spanish startup that provides digital content and learning services for personal and professional development, closed a $10 million funding round led by Swanlaab Venture Factory.
In a related area of the market, we saw some activity among companies that enable remote work and collaboration:
- Lifesize, an immersive enterprise communications solutions company, acquired Kaptivo, a digital collaboration solutions provider.
- MURAL, a digital workspace that enables visual collaboration, closed $118 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners.
- Mighty, a platform for leading remote and cross-functional teams, closed $4.3 million in seed funding from Slack Fund, GSV Ventures, Origin Ventures, Album VC, Acadian Ventures and Village Global.
Performance and Talent Management
In the segment of the market that focuses on managing employees and their performance:
- SocialChorus, an organizational communications and employee experience company, raised $100 million in funding led by Sumeru Equity Partners.
- Lattice, which sells a suite of performance management and employee engagement products and solutions, announced a $45 million Series D growth round of funding led by Tiger Global.
- Performance management and employee engagement platform HelloTeam announced a $3.5 million seed funding round led by Underscore VC.
- WorkPatterns, a platform for managers, launched out of beta and announced $2.8 million in seed funding led by Javelin Venture Partners and Pathfinder.
- 51job, Inc., a Chinese integrated human resource (HR) service provider, received a preliminary non-binding proposal letter from DCP Capital Partners to acquire its outstanding common shares for $79.05 per share.
Sales Training and Enablement
Deals this quarter for companies that help organizations support their sales teams included:
- ai, a “conversational intelligence platform,” closed a $45 million Series C funding round led by Georgian Partners.
- Sales2Job Academy, doing business as Virtanza, which sells higher education institutions a sales training solution that’s connected to employers, announced a $1 million seed funding round from private investors.
- Sales enablement platform provider Seismic announced a $92 million Series F funding round led by Permira.
Finally, workforce development companies saw some activity this quarter as well, particularly in the areas of improving access to employment for two specific groups. The Mom Project, which helps mothers with their careers and employers make their workplace more equitable and supportive of working parents, announced a $25 million Series B funding round led by 7GC. InsideSherpa, a platform for virtual internships, raised $9.3 million in Series A funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, according to TechCrunch.
What are your thoughts on the third quarter? What predictions do you have as we close out the year? Let us know!