Credly, which rewards your hard work with digital merit badges, raises $11M

April 24, 2019
image via shutterstock

What do IBM, Adobe and the SUNY school system all have in common? These major organizations all use Credly to award their employees with digital credentials and badges celebrating their achievements and recognizing their expertise.

Today, the seven-year-old company announced it had secured $11.1 million in Series A funding to take its efforts to the next level. Leading the round was Zoma Capital and Strada Education Network.

Credly’s system begins with employers designing and building out a system of badges and credentials meant to represent a team member’s expertise and past experience. Credly’s team helps along the way to ensure that designs are compelling and functional.

Credentials range from recognition a work-specific expertise, such as “Certified Java Expert,” to badges commemorating participation in a company events, such as a company retreat or an office-wide ping pong showdown.

Credly integrates into tools like Blackboard and Canvas, and adding new and updated credentials is simple, according to the company.

Credly doesn’t only function as an internal tool, though. Employees are encouraged to share their achievements through various social media integrations, including with LinkedIn, turning the platform into a tool for staff appreciations. (Numerous studies show that even a simple “good job” can make employees feel validated and respected.)

“In the evolving world of work and learning, it has never been more important to have verifiable evidence of skills, capabilities, and achievements,” CEO Jonathan Finkelstein told VentureBeat. “The combination of these two organizations spans every global sector, from trade professions to health care to finance and tech, allowing organizations to better identify, cultivate and recognize skills.”

Companies using Credly also receive data that helps them understand employee interests, identify company-wide leaders and recognize company-wide patterns of success. As more and more companies make use of Credly’s tools, the company hopes to build out a bigger and bigger ecosystem that can collaborate on best practices around credentials and badges.

Existing investors Lion Brothers Company, Lumina Foundation, New Markets Venture Partners, Pearson and University Ventures all returned with contributions to the round.

Prior to today’s announcement, Credly had raised $7.1 across seed and venture rounds. The Series A more than doubles the company’s funding to a total of $18.2 million.

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