After Quadrupling in Size, Lessonly Raises $8M Series B

Lessonly, the Indianapolis-based startup focused on team training software, this week announced it has raised an $8 million Series B funding round. Led by Boston’s OpenView Partners, the round also drew contributions from Rethink Education, High Alpha Capital, and Allos Ventures.

Max Yoder, Lessonly CEO and co-founder, says the company has quadrupled in size over the past year, going from 18 employees in 2016 to 82 today, and now has a client roster of more than 500 companies. So far, Yoder says, the company’s software has been used by more than 1 million learners.

“We’re supporting teams that have 100 people to those with thousands,” Yoder says. “The neat thing is that teams of all sizes get value. At the beginning of the year, we had 500,000 learners. Fast forward 11 months, and we’re at 1 million. That’s a sign that we’re hitting an inflection point.” Lessonly’s customers appreciate that its learning software doesn’t cater to a specific business size or sector, he adds.

Lessonly is a learning management system (LMS) tool for businesses trying to train their teams. The company’s clients collaborate with Lessonly to create custom lessons or courses, and employees can be grouped by division or hire date to streamline delivery. The topics of the lessons vary but usually pertain to essential job functions and company policies.

Lessonly clients can also assign due dates and track how many lessons an employee has completed and what their score was. Yoder says that when integrated with the programs and applications that employees use daily—Salesforce, Zendesk, or Slack, for example—the Lessonly platform drives better employee productivity and performance.

When you think about LMS tools, Yoder points out that “the mind goes to Human Resources because, historically, they owned it. We don’t play by that model.” Instead, Lessonly sells directly to sales teams and other customer-facing departments, he says, because it’s a challenge for those teams to maintain a high rate of production. In five years, he predicts, it won’t sound crazy for sales teams to have their own learning software.

“HR is about maintaining a log of people and actions over time,” Yoder explains. “It’s employee relationship management. The only time sales teams go to HR is for learning software—not because they want to, but because they didn’t have a better option. We’re really focused on those groups.”

Yoder says Lessonly plans to use the new capital to beef up its sales and marketing efforts, and is currently building “a concentration” of employees in Denver, CO, but not opening an official office there yet. In 2018, the company will host its first user conference, Yellowship, and Yoder is looking forward to introducing Lessonly customers to the growing tech scene in Indianapolis.

Sarah Schmid Stevenson is the editor of Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET_AA

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