Online learning – whether it is a supplement to physical materials or face-to-face lessons; or the primary or even sole medium being used – now an indelible part of the educational experience; And now, a Spanish startup that has built a platform to help deliver e-learning services in more places is announcing a round of growth funding to expand its business. myself more.
Odilo, a Madrid-based startup that has built a white-label platform used by businesses or organizations to build their own customized e-learning services under the B2B2C model, has earned 60 million euros ($64 million). London-based investor Bregal Milestone led the round, which was joined by previous backers Swanlaab and CDTI. Odilo doesn’t disclose its value, but it’s been around since 2012 and has raised less than $30 million before that.
You may not be familiar with the name “Odilo.” Rodrigo Rodriguez, founder and CEO, describes Odilo to me as an “Netflix” for education because of its large catalog – the company has so far amassed a portfolio of 3.9 million faces. stores, which include about 3 million books but also podcasts, full courses and other materials, from 6,300 publishers in 43 languages - and practically people engage with that content on demand , use whatever you want.
However, unlike Netflix, it operates as a service that labels in time, so you may never actually see the Odilo brand. However, it is likely that you already use one of the educational portals it offers. Odilo has so far 8,500 customers in 52 countries, including around 170 million users, with a list that includes government agencies, libraries and educational institutions like MIT, as well as corporate clients big businesses like Google and Vodafone.
Rodriguez said that the new funding will be used to further grow that portfolio and expand further into more markets, particularly North America and the African continent.
The company has evolved from two important trends in technology.
The first is the rise of e-learning, which in the broadest view – which can include both schooling as well as professional training and everything in between – is estimated to be worth around $315 billion in 2015. 2021 and will grow at a CAGR of 20% over the next six years by Researchers. Of course, that whole trend was accelerated by Covid-19, when schools and other in-person learning experiences were closed, but it was big even before the pandemic hit, and the economics of the virtual experience is likely to remain intact.
The second is the rise of “headless” systems: services built as extensible platforms, where customers are given the option to use a variety of APIs and other tools to build build their own custom experience on it. These are very common in other areas of technology that are complex to build from scratch – ecommerce backends (e.g. Shopify or Commercetools), content management systems (e.g. Contentful) – and now Odilo is effectively taking that same model and applying it to e-learning.
(And just to point out, there are others who have also pursued the idea of building platforms that allow others to create customizable libraries of e-learning: Perlego in London describes itself as a “Spotify” of e-learning pursuing something similar and also raising funds to build it; However, Odilo’s scale is impressive in that respect.)
It’s remarkable to me that Google is one of Odilo’s clients: the company, one of the world’s undisputed tech giants, has made a big push into the education sector by products such as its collaborative multimedia. Google Classroom; that is Google Scholar search academic literature; YouTube of course; Its main search engine and more. Rogriduez told me it uses Odilo to build training and education libraries for its people, but has it ever approached Odilo to build a more consumer-facing service?
No, that was the short answer he gave me, but he noted that they were talking to very large tech companies who wanted to look at this type of product but might not want to. Invest in building it yourself – at least initially – to explore the very idea.
That, plus the large existing market, are two reasons why investors are ready to invest, even as momney fundraising is becoming a bit more difficult for startups. .
Francesco Canessa, principal at Bregal Milestone, said: “Odilo is an innovative player in the burgeoning educational content market, with an impressive product range, a broad content portfolio and facility Best-in-class digital infrastructure. “There is significant scope for internationalization and platform expansion – two levers of value creation in which Bregal Milestone has significant expertise. As a leader in its field with a strong, engaged customer base and a unique service offering, ODILO is exactly the kind of business we are looking for and we are very excited about it. Expect growth ahead as we work together. ”