It was a busy first quarter in the corporate training industry, with providers across specializations rolling out new products and services to support an evolving workforce. As the world of work becomes more disrupted due to advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and other technologies, it’s perhaps not surprising that many of the deals that closed last quarter took place in the information technology (IT) and technical training and learning technology segments of the market.
With a new quarter upon us, let’s take a moment to consider the deals that took place in Q1 of 2023.
From virtual reality (VR) to smart learning portals, last quarter’s deals reflect some of the latest innovations in the learning technology space. Here are the deals we took note of:
- Gemba, a VR workforce training leader closed an $18 million Series A funding round led by Parkway Venture Capital, bringing Gemba’s total valuation to $60 million.
- HowNow, a learning experience platform (LXP), closed a $5 million Series A funding round led by Mercia Asset Management and leading learning company, Pearson.
- GSoft, a software company designed to improve the employee experience, acquired Didacte, a learning management system (LMS) platform provider.
- HemsleyFraser announced that it has acquired MindOnSite (MOS), an online training systems creator, and STS, a project management training provider. The acquisitions will enhance HemsleyFraser’s offerings with additions such as smart learning portals, gamification capabilities, project management simulation tools and more, according to the press release.
The IT/technical training segment of the market was bustling with activity last quarter, and as digital literacy becomes increasingly imperative for employees across all business functions, we don’t expect the demand for these solutions to decrease any time soon. In fact, Training Industry’s 2023 “State of the IT and Technical Training Market” report predicts a 4.9% increase in spending in this segment in 2023. Q1 deals in this segment of the market include the following:
- XOi, a provider of technician-focused technology solutions, announced a strategic partnership with Interplay learning, bringing Interplay Learning’s platform into XOI’s suite of AI-powered data collection and analysis solutions.
- Axcel, a professional education company backed by Alpine Investors, announced a partnership with Accelebrate, a provider of live, on-site and online IT training in areas like web development, data science and visualization, cloud computing and more.
- ILX Group, a provider of accredited training solutions, completed the acquisition of software training business, TSG Training Ltd.
- Vista Equity Partners, a global investment firm focused on enterprise software, data and technology-enabled businesses, completed its acquisition of KnowBe4, Inc., a security awareness training platform provider.
- Torc, a nearshore intelligent talent network connecting remote developers with jobs, announced the acquisition of coding performance measurement application, Codealike.
The content development segment of the market also saw ample activity last quarter:
- Go1, a provider of one of the largest eLearning libraries on the market, announced the acquisition of Anders Pink, a provider of a content curation tool. In the press release, Michelle Hazelton, managing director at Anders Pink, says, “Go1 and Anders Pink have a shared purpose to curate the world’s best learning content, in any learning platform, for the world’s leading organizations. Through the acquisition, we are gaining the ability to drive greater market impact at significant scale as part of Go1.”
- Atairos, an independent strategic investment company, acquired LifeLabs Learning, a training and upskilling provider. The partnership accelerates LifeLabs Learning’s plans to deliver digital innovations that lead to “rapid learning, long-term retention, and joyful experiences in the flow of work,” according to the press release.
- Industry leaders Docebo Inc. and ELB Learning announced a partnership to combine their strengths in learning technologies and custom content development services.
- Sponge, a provider of “ready-to-go” courses utilizing game-based learning, eLearning and augmented reality (AR), announced a strategic partnership with Rise Up, an LMS platform provider. With the partnership, Rise Up clients will gain access to Sponge’s immersive learning resources and digital learning content.
- VitalSource, a digital content delivery and learning platform provider, acquired Akademos, a leader in building technology to create cost-effective and efficient course materials and delivery solutions.
Other Deals by Topic Area
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- DCI Consulting Group, Inc. (DCI), a human resources (HR) data analytics and consulting firm, announced the acquisition of Gerstco, Inc., an affirmative action software and consulting firm.
- Semrush, an online visibility management software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, acquired Traffic Think Tank (TTT), a leading marketing education company and community.
- Leading learning company Pearson announced that it has completed the acquisition of Personnel Decisions Research Institutes, LLC (PDRI), a workforce assessment services provider. PDRI will now operate under the “PDRI by Pearson” brand name. This marks Pearson’s second deal of the quarter, along with its investment in LXP platform provider HowNow.
- GLC Advisors & Co., LLC (GLC), an independent investment banking advisory firm, announced that it facilitated the successful sale of Versus Global to iPEC, a portfolio company of Eureka Equity Partners. As two leaders in the leadership training space, the combined company will “greatly expand iPEC’s reach and enable it to offer new tools and strategies to its customer base,” according to the press release.
Personalization and Learning Pathways
- Cleary, a digital employee experience platform for distributed teams designed to streamline the employee journey, closed a $4.5 million seed funding round led by Moonshots Capital, which follows an initial capital raise of $3 million as part of Cleary’s pre-seed fundraise.
What are your predictions for the corporate training market next quarter? How do you see these deals impacting the market moving forward? Email us your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.