SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- LearnUp, an innovative technology company that is tackling America's skills gap, announced today that it has finalized $8 million in Series A financing co-led by venture capital firms New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Shasta Ventures, with participation from Greylock Partners, Floodgate, and High Line Venture Partners. The new funding will be used to expand LearnUp's products and partnerships across industries, including retail, call centers, hospitality, food service and more.
"LearnUp is leading a movement to empower America's frontline workforce by providing free online job-specific training, interview preparation and job coaching — all of which are linked to actual open jobs," said Alexis Ringwald, CEO and Co-founder of LearnUp.
"Our greater vision is to build a platform that trains and advances entry-level workers throughout their careers. If we truly want to address economic empowerment and inequality in America, we must provide the training, coaching and encouragement needed to get entry-level jobs and more advanced positions. LearnUp aims to provide a path for upward mobility to millions of job seekers."
Facts & Figures
- LearnUp was founded after the team spent six months in the unemployment lines researching the entry-level skills gap and job market
- Applicants who use LearnUp before they interview triple their chances of getting hired
- 73% of U.S. jobs require less than a college degree, and yet 65% of major employers struggle to find and hire qualified applicants for entry level jobs1
- Employers who hire through LearnUp benefit from:
- a 200% increase in hiring efficiency,
- a 78% improvement in new hire performance, and
- up to 30% reduction in turnover.
LearnUp has partnered with leading employers like Old Navy, AT&T, The Fresh Market, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Sprint to prepare job applicants for their roles. "LearnUp's innovative technology and approach enables us to recruit qualified, retail-ready employees at scale while dramatically improving our hiring efficiency," said Leslie Anderson, Senior Director of HR for Old Navy. "This year alone, we're using LearnUp to empower more than 200,000 people with the skills needed for success in a retail environment."
"LearnUp has made incredible progress since they were founded, and is addressing a major unmet market need with its revolutionary approach and technology," said Ravi Mohan, Managing Director at Shasta Ventures. "We're excited to support the growth of this uplifting and innovative enterprise, whose solution drives economic empowerment and opportunity."
"The measurable impact of LearnUp's approach — on both job seekers and employers — is inspiring and unprecedented in the industry," said Sheel Tyle, Principal at NEA. "Alexis and her team have created a system that empowers individuals with the relevant skills and information needed to begin or advance their own careers. We are thrilled to be a part of LearnUp's movement to make a real impact on this pressing issue facing today's front-line workforce — the original backbone of America."
1Sources: U.S. DOL 2014; McKinsey 2012 Education to Employment Survey
Founded in 2012, LearnUp empowers job applicants to get hired through the use of innovative job-specific online training and interview coaching. LearnUp was named 2015 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum. LearnUp is partnering with innovative employers such as Gap Inc., Sprint, Staples, Dick's Sporting Goods, the Fresh Market and AT&T to streamline hiring operations and deliver an ROI while advancing the nation's workforce. For more information, please visit www.learnup.com.
New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA) is a global venture capital firm focused on helping entrepreneurs build transformational businesses across multiple stages, sectors and geographies. With nearly $17 billion in committed capital, NEA invests in technology and healthcare companies at all stages in a company's lifecycle, from seed stage through IPO. The firm's long track record of successful investing includes more than 200 portfolio company IPOs and more than 320 acquisitions since its founding in 1977. In the U.S., NEA has offices in Menlo Park, CA; Boston, MA; New York, NY; Chicago, IL; and the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. In addition, New Enterprise Associates (India) Pvt. Ltd. has offices in Bangalore and Mumbai, India and New Enterprise Associates (Beijing), Ltd. has offices in Beijing and Shanghai, China. For additional information, visit www.nea.com.
About Shasta Ventures
Shasta Ventures is a boutique, early-stage venture firm investing its fourth fund in consumer technology and enterprise startups. Shasta aims to partner with bold, creative entrepreneurs who have exceptional instincts and insights into the needs, desires and behaviors of the people who use their products. The firm is based in Menlo Park and San Francisco, California. Shasta Ventures has supported the founders of dozens of successful companies, including: Anaplan, Apptio, Crittercism, Lithium, Mint, Nest, Nextdoor, Turn, Zenprise and Zuora. For more information, please visit www.shastaventures.com, or follow on Twitter at @shasta.