As latin america attracts unprecedented venture capital totals, Educational technology startups in the region have new opportunities to grow. Last week, Coderhouse, a live cohort-based learning platform, and Crehana, an on-demand skills development service for the company, announced rounds of funding.
The consecutive increases are a reminder that the relevance of educational technology in Latin America is not only growing in classrooms, but also within organizations in Latin America. It’s a sign that both consumers and employers believe in the importance of retraining in today’s new and ever-changing future of work.
Spacious but better
Coderhouse, founded in 2014 by Christian Patiño, is a platform for LatAm professionals to take cohort-based online courses on topics such as data, coding, design, and marketing.
Patiño explained how the original online education platforms, also known as MOOCs, are “super accessible”, with low completion rates. The answer to this became training grounds, which he considers to be “much more effective” but inaccessible due to low acceptance rates and high costs. With both sides of the spectrum in mind, he wants Coderhouse to fall somewhere in the middle, combining the affordability of MOOCs (massive providers of open online courses) and the participation of bootcamps.
At $ 100 per course, Coderhouse offers small group classes led by instructors and teacher assistants, with a curriculum designed through partnerships with leading companies.
The company announced this week that it has raised a $ 13.5 million Series A round led by Monashees, along with Reach Capital, David Velez of Nubank, Guillermo Rauch of Vercel, Hugo Barra (former head of VR at Facebook) and the founders of Loggi. . Rappi, Wildlife Studios, Méliuz, MadeiraMadeira, Cornershop, Bitso, Casai, Clara, RunaHR and Belvo.
It’s Coderhouse’s first venture capital check after starting for years. Since 2019, Coderhouse has grown revenue 10x year over year and achieved a $ 12 million execution rate. Now, with formal backing, the founders are focused on growing that total by offering more services in Latin America. Patiño said that 80% of their income comes from Argentina, and the capital resources will help them expand their base of 21,000 students to other countries.
The startup serves a variety of students, including people looking for new jobs, people who want to promote themselves within their current companies, and entrepreneurs and freelancers who want to master an imperative business skill such as marketing or copywriting. The breadth of early adopters could make it difficult for the company to deliver results at scale (someone looking to get promoted has very different needs than someone looking for a new job) but, for now, you are helping the early-stage company to find your voice.
The round was the first investment in LatAm for Reach Capital, a US-based educational technology firm. Partner Esteban Sosnik explained how Coderhouse’s strategy is a response to the LatAm talent bottleneck, as the digital momentum in the region continues and roles change. He believes that the breadth of Coderhouse’s offering makes it “difficult to define a definition of results.”
Sosnik believes that graduation rates are a good indicator of student impact and satisfaction. So far, 90% of users who pay for Coderhouse graduate from their course, and of that cohort, 80% of students claim that salaries increase after graduation. Moving forward, you might see Coderhouse offering more data on the long-term economic impact of how taking a course can affect your career path two to four years into the future.
The company does not have filters that prevent students from taking courses, so it maintains quality through rigorous research by teachers. The founder estimates that only 8% of teachers are accepted to teach on the Coderhouse platform, resulting in nearly 2,000 teachers active in the company today.
A challenge for the startup will be to scale its teaching assistant [TA] to the proportion of students. Right now, there are 20 students for every TA, and Patiño wants to introduce more peer work and grades to limit the work intensity of a class for instructors.
As Coderhouse discovers how to be an affordable boot camp for aspiring and current employees, Crehana is finding her footing by targeting the companies that employ them directly.
Crehana is a one-stop shop for employers to retrain their employees. Where you focus on your clientele niche, you expand on services: You want to do the “full value chain” of learning, from assessing skills gaps to offering content to addressing pain points and tracking progress. Right now, there are over 400 instructors / mentors teaching over 700 courses through 100,000 skills and competencies required for jobs.
Crehana announced today that it has raised a $ 70 million Series B just months after a $ 13 million Series A extension round. According to CEO Diego Olcese, the round will lead to “aggressively scaling” an offering that now accounts for half of Crehana’s revenue: Crehana for Business.
Crehana for Business is a business solution packaged for a specific company that seeks to improve the skills of a part of its staff. Crehana will continue to offer individual seats on its learning platform, but Crehana for Business illustrates what Olcese sees as the future: centralizing education as an approach within companies.
“We are building this so that companies can understand the comprehensive employee development process in the company, from the onboarding process to the moment an employee is promoted at work,” he said. “We are centralizing that management for human resources teams.”
It’s a great gamble, one that Udemy has been working for years. The San Francisco-based platform launched an enterprise product that now has more than 7,000 customers, reaching close to $ 200 million in annual recurring revenue. Crehana did not disclose details on revenue, but said it had 10x year-over-year growth on Crehana for Business, with overall business achieving 4x year-on-year growth; both metrics are between 2019 and 2020.
Olcese said that Crehana’s biggest difference from Udemy is how it handles content. Crehana produces, designs and publishes all the content for her site and selects which teachers will instruct on which topics. Comparatively, Udemy has a a more open market that allows anyone to start teaching after their identity is verified.
Crehana’s hands-on content strategy makes sense, but it’s hard to scale; And the content is not competitive forever. This tension is why the company thinks its future is more like Crehana for Business, which uses content as part of a larger infrastructure for how employees are trained, rather than seeing itself as a content provider.
While working to become a layer of educational infrastructure, Crehana is experimenting with technology that would allow companies to create their own content that is not only localized to geography, but is attuned to personalities, management structures, and more.
As for whether he ever wants to become a company that helps Nubank, a Latin American fintech favorite valued at $ 30 billion, create your own mini-university to train and improve employees, the founder was clear: “It will be better than a university,” he said.
The Venn diagram between the two
Generally speaking, the Crehana and Coderhouse funding pair shows that investors see LatAm’s digital transformation as having a fundamental and long-tail impact on the adoption of educational technology within regional companies. So the question is what is the best way to cater to a group of students who are just beginning to be hungry and what is the easiest answer to the main stresses of employers: unskilled candidates.
The two companies differ in strategy. Coderhouse, for example, believes in delivering education en masse and through affordable parts. Using a cohort-based methodology, the startup helps consumers work on specific skills that can help in a variety of different scenarios, from promotions to finding new jobs. Meanwhile, Crehana believes that working internally with institutions could be the sweet spot necessary for real change. He focuses on localized content as an initial moat, but in the long run he believes employers need an easy way to track employees as they learn, retain, and engage with new skills. The company may seem more like a learning infrastructure than a content provider.
While the strategies look different in sales, they are both based on current advancements in educational technology, and are not limited to, but include the ability to learn online, the understanding that lifelong learning is a competitive advantage. key for professionals.