Articulate Global, a longtime leader in the e-learning and training space, announced Thursday that it raised an eye-watering $1.5 billion Series A, valuing the company at $3.75 billion. The round was led by General Atlantic, with participation from ICONIQ Growth and funds managed by Blackstone Growth. The company says that this is one of the largest Series A rounds ever.
CEO Adam Schwartz founded Articulate back in 2002 as a plug-in for PowerPoint, and has been bootstrapping it for nearly two decades. Now, the company’s suite of tools and interactive content helps major brands like CVS and Nestlé create and deliver online training sessions for everything from sales to soft business skills — and all without the need for training professionals. Last year, the company also launched Rise.com, an all-in-one training system designed for small- to medium-sized businesses.
Today, Articulate has more than 106,000 customers spanning 161 countries.
“It’s rare that a company achieves the level of success Articulate has without any prior institutional backing,” Anton Levy, the co-president and global head of technology investing at General Atlantic, said in a statement. “In key measures, including industry leadership, transformative technology, customer NPS, employee happiness and sustained growth, Articulate has established itself as a leader and innovator.”
Articulate’s technology also sits at the intersection of some strong trends that have been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, namely the shift toward e-learning and the rise of “low code” or “no code” productivity tools. Companies across these industries — including Age of Learning and OutSystems — have raised massive nine-figure funding rounds in just the last few months. This is an indication that these industry trends aren’t going away anytime soon. Levy told Crunchbase News that since Articulate combines a lot of this technology within the professional development space, these market tailwinds could “propel” the company’s growth even further.
Plus, Schwartz says that this past year has forced many employers to step up their game in terms of how they treat their employees and what kind of support they give them, leading many of them to seek out training solutions like Articulate. He added that, with General Atlantic, ICONIQ and Blackstone’s support, the company is positioned to be a leader amid this “new world of work.”
“Companies face a whole host of challenges training employees in remote and hybrid work environments and reskilling their workforces post-COVID. They’re also under increasing pressure to build learning cultures that treat employees as whole humans, democratize learning creation and consumption, and reduce turnover through enhanced engagement,” Schwartz said in a statement. “We’re partnering with the growth equity firms we’re convinced will help us have an even greater impact in the world.”
Articulate says it will use this fresh funding to further accelerate its growth and scale internationally. The company is also hiring, with dozens of open tech positions available now.