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Lesson.ly, provider of online training software for employees, announced today a $5 million round of Series A funding led by OpenView Venture Partners with participation from High Alpha Capital and Allos Ventures. The company had previously raised a $1.1 million round from Allos Ventures.
Only a decade old, Boston-based OpenView is true to its name, with explicit information about its investment strategy listed on its website: the firm invests $5-20 million in business-to-business (B2B) software companies with a path to $1-15 million in yearly revenue. The firm manages nearly $700 million in assets and targets global companies specifically focused on the North American market.
OpenView's newest portfolio addition is Lesson.ly, a learning management system tailored for businesses. The service allows users to build training courses for a wide variety of purposes, from new employee onboarding to customer service and sales training. Some of the platform’s features include rich content integration, assignments and due dates, and "gradebooks" and "progress reports" for tracking. And it’s designed to be mobile-friendly.
The "Basic" version of Lesson.ly ($2,400 yearly) comes with the ability to build, share, and track unlimited lessons for up to 25 users. The "Plus" version ($6,000 yearly) bumps the limit up to 100 users and adds features like user roles, custom branding, and PDF exporting. The "Growth" version ($12,000 yearly) goes up to 300 users and includes automated lesson building, single sign-on, and API integration.
Lesson.ly also offers an “Enterprise” version, designed for customers with greater numbers of users or more sophisticated integration requirements.
The company says it has over 250 customers, including Angie's List, Lyft, Microsoft, and MSNBC. Here’s one customer, Trunk Club, talking about their experience:
“We vetted traditional learning software, but Lesson.ly’s flexibility and automation API made it the only choice for our sales teams’ learning needs,” said Teresa Ferguson, Trunk Club’s director of training. “Lesson.ly integrates with our CRM and product catalog, allowing us to use business data to drive the right learning at the right time. The result is more engagement, retention, and better sales quota attainment. Plus, their customer experience is outstanding.”
Given the lengthy list of customers and big-name logos, I couldn’t help but ask the company about their profitability. Unfortunately, a spokesperson for Lesson.ly wasn't willing to elaborate: "We do not comment on financials, but we are very comfortable with where we are and are poised for growth."
It’s also an interesting question given the crowded nature of the learning management system (LMS) market. While they all look slightly different, one to the next, some of other big players in the LMS market include SkillSoft, Cornerstone, and Topyx. Another company, Grovo, just closed a $40 million Series C funding round led by existing investor Accel in January.
In the strictest sense, Lesson.ly is a less expensive option (as they claim). Grovo, for example, charges $109 per user annually for its mid-tier “Plus” plan. If you had 100 users, that would cost $10,900 yearly. On Lesson.ly, it's $6,000 yearly.
The bigger question: which LMS platform does user training best?
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Grovo is the leading online platform that trains users on top Internet tools and cloud services with 60-second, personalized videos.
Featuring 3,500+ video lessons covering 100+ Internet tools and cloud services – and 15 lessons added daily - Grovo is the fastest and easiest way to become a better Internet user. With coverage, tools and training ideal for consumers, businesses, educators, and governments, users in 150 countries are using Grovo to work smarter and sharpen their Internet skills.
For organizations and enterprises Grovo’s lightweight training dashboard, Grovo for Teams, enables employee training on the Internet tools, sites, and trends they need to stay ahead.
Founded in 2010, Grovo is a privately-held online education company headquartered in New York City.