The future of professional development is online

Published on the 28/05/2020 | Written by Jonathan Cotton

Online learning_GO1

GO1’s $40m Series C funding points to a new era of online learning for workers…

As remote working becomes the new norm, professional development content providers are rushing to fill the skill acquisition and workforce training gap.

GO1 is one such online learning platform, and, focused specifically on professional training, can deliver onboarding, compliance, educational and professional development for employees. Aggregating training content from a wide range of content providers, GO1 streamlines training content procurement for enterprises and delivers it on-demand to users.

“The use of online tools for training is now undergoing a structural shift.”

“GO1 serves as the hub of the learning ecosystem, connecting to learning management systems and content providers to enable organisations to deliver their own learning content, or popular third-party content, in the systems they use every day,” says the company.

“Instead of being locked into one provider, GO1’s platform can integrate into existing systems and provide an endless learning library from all the best providers to ensure that they are getting the right resources for the training they need.”

Founded in a garage in Brisbane’s suburbs – and now with offices in San Francisco – GO1 has been expanding its corporate training offering significantly in North America and Europe, and says that it has experienced a 500 percent increase in the use of its service over the last two months (likely due, in part, to Qantas and Virgin airlines staff, who have been using the GO1 service for free during the recent Covid-19 interruptions).

That’s a needle definitely moving in the right direction, and led by Madrona Venture Group and Seek, GO1 has now raised over AU$40m in a Series C funding, bringing its total raised capital to AU$124m.

That number has been made possible by a new investor, Salesforce Ventures, as well as existing participant M12, Microsoft’s venture fund. Other investors include Shark Tank investor Steve Baxter and Oxford University. The company says the funding will go towards North American expansion as well as expanding its content provider partner network.

Indeed, the successful funding round follows the platform’s new integration with Microsoft Teams, which allows Teams users to take online professional development courses through Microsoft’s collaboration app.

“GO1 has been critical for business continuity as organizations navigate the remote realities of COVID-19,” says Nagraj Kashyap, Microsoft Corporate VP.

“The GO1 integration with Microsoft Teams offers a seamless learning experience at a time when 75 million people are using the application daily. We’re proud to invest in a solution helping keep employees learning and businesses growing through this time.”

Salesforce Ventures is another new integration, with the cloud tech company announcing that it will be leveraging GO1’s educational resources for its own online professional product.

“While the majority of corporate learning is done in person today, we believe the new digital imperative will see an acceleration in the shift to online learning tools,” says Rob Keith, Salesforce Ventures head of Australia.

“We believe GO1 fits well into the Trailhead ecosystem and our vision of creating the life-long learner journey”.

Other customers include the University of Oxford, Suzuki and Thrifty.

By all accounts, it’s a bold new era of remote working and learning. Recent research finds 88 percent of organisations have ‘encouraged or required’ their employees to work from home, with 91 percent of teams in the APAC region having implemented some sort of ‘work from home’ arrangement since the Covid-19 outbreak. GO1 says that engagement with the platform has tripled over the last month, with 3,000 organisations now using the product globally.

“GO1’s growth over the last couple of months has been unprecedented and the use of online tools for training is now undergoing a structural shift,” says Andrew Barnes, CEO of GO1.

“It is gratifying to fill an important void right now as workers embrace online solutions. We are inspired about the future that we are building as we expand our platform with new mediums that reach millions of people every day with the content they need.”

Curious? Check out GO1’s product first hand – GO1 has made all of its COVID-19 related learning resources available for free here.

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