San Francisco-headquartered Learn In, a full-service employee upskilling benefits platform, has raised $3.5 million in seed funding from GSV Ventures, Album VC, and Firework Ventures, the company has announced recently.
Village Global and angel investor Michael Levinthal also participated in the round, according to the company’s press announcement.
Founded in March 2020 by popular learning platform Degreed co-founders David Blake and Eric Sharp, along with Taylor Blake and Yael Gilboa Kaufmann, Learn In helps employers uskill their employees. It aims to transform the modern workforce, help people earn more money through upskilling and do more purpose-driven work, and to help companies in large-scale upskilling and mobilization of their workforce.
Learn In is the first full-service upskilling benefits startup helping companies manage learning sabbaticals and learning-while-earning hybrid arrangements. With its comprehensive upskilling-as-a-service platform, the startup makes it easy for companies to offer employees sabbaticals, helps them match their employees to the best training programs to develop key skills and provides innovative financing options.
The company said its model provides a particularly useful and humane alternative to the layoffs and furloughs now occurring in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Explaining further about this, David Blake, Co-founder and CEO of Learn In, said,
“In less than six weeks, we’ve gone from historic unemployment lows and unprecedented talent shortages to the highest levels of weekly unemployment on record, with more than 16 million people out of work in the US. Learn In provides a better option to layoffs or furloughs for the long-term health of workers, companies, and the economy amid these volatile conditions.”
Learn In aims to help more people cross the skill gap. The company partners with employers to help their employees find higher pay and higher purpose by upgrading their skills. It delivers companies and their employees the very best in online, new-age, low-cost training programs, as well as traditional degree options particularly focused on digital skills and hard-to-fill roles such as data science and software engineering. Learn In also partners with innovative financing solution providers to make the process of reskilling easy while ensuring protection against financial upheaval.
Explaining further the company's works, Learn In’s Co-founder Yael Gilboa Kaufmann said,
“Innovative companies have offered sabbaticals and part-time work as alternatives to layoffs in the past, but never in a situation quite like this. Similarly, companies have offered tuition assistance to help support employees engaging in learning or finishing a university undergraduate or graduate program. Learn In enables both companies and employees to benefit from what could be considered a lull in normal work so that each is in a stronger position when the pandemic ends. Companies need a highly trained workforce that is capable of embracing the demands of the future. This is our best chance for developing that workforce.”
Learn In found the biggest impediment to companies upskilling their employees was time. So it built a SaaS platform to help employees and their organization make dedicated time to learn, pay for education or training, and find the right program to meet their needs that align with upgraded opportunities.