CORPORATE EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Skillsoft | December 23, 2021
Skillsoft, a global leader in corporate digital learning, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Codecademy, a leading online learning platform for technical skills, for approximately $525 million in cash and stock.
Codecademy is an innovative and popular learning platform providing high-demand technical skills to approximately 40 million registered learners in nearly every country worldwide. The platform offers interactive, self-paced courses and hands-on learning in 14 programming languages across multiple domains such as application development, data science, cloud and cybersecurity. In addition, the Codecademy platform can rapidly expand to deliver new skills at scale, making it highly adaptable to the evolving technical needs of learners and their employers. Codecademy, which was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in New York, is led by a proven entrepreneurial team that has built one of the most admired technical skills learning platforms in the industry.
“Codecademy will significantly expand Skillsoft’s capabilities in the high-growth Tech & Dev segment. Strategic acquisitions are an important part of our growth strategy. We acquired virtual instructor-led training capabilities with Global Knowledge and coaching with Pluma earlier this year. With the addition of Codecademy’s innovative capabilities, we will create an even more immersive online learning experience. When we combine Skillsoft’s enterprise customer base of more than 12,000 corporate customers and over 46 million learners with Codecademy’s 40 million learners, sophisticated digital marketing capability and influential brand, we expect to unlock significant revenue synergies.”
Jeffrey R. Tarr, Chief Executive Officer of Skillsoft
Following the close of the transaction, the Codecademy team will join Skillsoft to help further build out the leading technical skills training solution for learners globally.
“Since our founding, Codecademy has been focused on empowering our learners to build inspiring careers in technology,” said Zach Sims, founder and CEO of Codecademy. “We have helped tens of millions of people around the world learn new technology skills. Together with Skillsoft, we will have the opportunity to rapidly increase the size of our content library and scale Codecademy across the millions of learners and thousands of companies – including approximately 75% of the Fortune 1000 – that work with Skillsoft worldwide. With additional resources and opportunities to drive growth, we are excited to embark on this important next chapter.”
Strategic Rationale and Benefits
Creates a Leading Technology & Developer Offering. Adding Codecademy’s expertise in 14 programming languages across multiple domains to Skillsoft’s existing technical skills offering will create a leader in the high-demand, high-growth Tech & Dev segment. In addition, the capability of the Codecademy platform to rapidly add new programming languages and technical skills at scale will further enhance Skillsoft’s ability to meet the evolving demands of learners worldwide as it helps organizations address the critical technical skills gap.
Expands Immersive Platform with New Ways of Learning. Skillsoft has already assembled an expansive set of learning options, including virtual instructor-led training, coaching, micro videos, audio, books, bootcamps, live events, assessments and badges. Together with Codecademy’s interactive, self-paced courses and hands-on learning, Skillsoft will be able to deliver even more immersive experiences through its AI-driven platform, Percipio.
Creates Substantial Cross-Selling and Upselling Opportunities by Adding a Strong Brand and Powerful Digital Sales and Marketing Engine to Global Enterprise Sales Force. The acquisition will bring together Codecademy’s sophisticated direct-to-learner digital sales and marketing engine and Skillsoft’s enterprise sales organization, creating new opportunities to upsell and cross-sell across each company’s customer base, which is expected to drive customer growth and revenue synergies.
Expected to Be Significantly Accretive to Bookings and Revenue Growth Immediately Upon Closing. Codecademy is expected to deliver approximately $47 million in bookings and approximately $42 million in revenue for the calendar year ended December 31, 2021, up 23% and 31%, respectively, over the prior year. Codecademy is entirely a SaaS business and is expected to deliver gross margins of more than 85% in 2021 and be accretive to Skillsoft’s gross margin immediately upon closing. Codecademy is investing to fuel growth and, accordingly, is expected to generate negative EBITDA of approximately $20 million in 2021. Skillsoft expects it will accelerate Codecademy’s growth in its first year of ownership and that the acquisition will be accretive to EBITDA over the long term.
Skillsoft is a global leader in corporate digital learning, focused on transforming today’s workforce for tomorrow’s economy. The Company provides enterprise learning solutions designed to prepare organizations for the future of work, overcome critical skill gaps, drive demonstrable behavior-change, and unlock the potential in their people. Skillsoft offers a comprehensive suite of premium, original, and authorized partner content, including one of the broadest and deepest libraries of leadership & business skills, technology & developer, and compliance curricula. With access to a broad spectrum of learning options (including video, audio, books, bootcamps, live events, and practice labs), organizations can meaningfully increase learner engagement and retention. Skillsoft’s offerings are delivered through Percipio, its award-winning, AI-driven, immersive learning platform purpose built to make learning easier, more accessible, and more effective.
EDCAST | December 29, 2021
EdCast & KLD announce their partnership for the Middle East, towards skills development within fast growing corporations as a key step forward for both companies to expand their footprint in the market.
Rich learning content provided by KLD, integrated with EdCast's learning ecosystem would allow learners to easily discover, share, recommend, and learn from KLD's content libraries across the organization.Through this partnership, EdCast and KLD aim to bridge the widening knowledge & skill gap impacting both government institutions and private enterprises in the Middle East. The collective intent is to focus on next generation learning experience and providing customized content (in Arabic & English) that will help build 'a smarter workforce' where learning is aligned with purpose and delivers the greatest impact to both learners and organizations.
Speaking on the partnership, Mayank Pande – Vice President, Enterprise Solutions & Partnerships, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa at EdCast said: "We are excited about our partnership with KLD and are committed to working with clients in the region towards building tomorrow's workforce. Our aim is to provide learners easy access across devices, work applications and content choices to support their upskilling & reskilling efforts. This is why we are pleased to complement our offering with the innovative high-quality content of KLD".
"We are pleased to complement our localised content with the cutting edge offering of EdCast to impact the lives of the learners across the Middle East. Our social mission to upskill and re-skill individuals to enhance their productivity in a way that is conducive to economic prosperity across the region will only be reinforced with this exciting partnership ".
KLD's Co-Founder and Chairman – Consultant Monaji Zamakhchary
EdCast offers a unified talent experience platform designed to enable end-to-end employee journeys spanning learning, skilling, and career mobility. Its award-winning platform is used internationally by organizations ranging from large Global 2000 companies to small businesses and governments.
With EdCast's platforms, businesses are able to attract, develop and retain a high-performance and future-ready workforce. EdCast's offerings include its Talent Experience Platform, Spark for SMBs, Content Strategy & Solutions, and MyGuide Digital Adoption Platform. EdCast is recognized as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum.
KLD is a training and professional development company which specializes in offering blended and fully digitized training solutions for both common training needs as well as sector specific training needs. KLD provides its clients with the ability to train at scale, with an enhanced training experience that achieves the learning objectives for the target audience across geographies. KLD has strong partnerships with global and national providers with different specialties to complement its offering for the wider human capital development needs.
CORPORATE EDUCATION AND TRAINING
GigXR | January 10, 2022
GigXR, a global provider of eXtended Reality (XR) solutions for instructor-led teaching and training, announced today its partnership with the University of Cambridge and Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) NHS Foundation Trust, to co-create evidence-based holographic acute care simulations for multiprofessional training, including medical students, nurses, and doctors seeking to enhance their skills in clinical practice.
Using mixed reality, which merges physical environments with hyper-realistic digital elements, learners will be able to interact with holographic patients to practice high-level, real-time decision making and intervention choice. Accessed and deployed through GigXR’s Immersive Learning Platform, the partnership and new holographic simulations will also democratize access to safe-to-fail simulation scenarios guided by top experts in medicine and healthcare education.
“Simulating real-world, real-time medical care requires interactive, responsive patients, medical tools and evolving scenarios that conventional methods, such as manikins, task trainers and standardized patients, and even virtual and augmented realities, cannot accurately recreate. Mixed reality not only allows us to create patient holograms that will have realistic medical responses to interventions, it also merges the latest advancements in hardware devices, software, remote capabilities and expertise, to scale access to cutting-edge medical knowledge and training tools.”
Arun Gupta, Director of Postgraduate Education, Cambridge University Health Partners
Educators will be able to access and share scenarios, change patient vitals, introduce complications, and record observations and discussions, while projecting the holographic media using Microsoft’s HoloLens mixed reality headset into any physical training environment, whether in a classroom, large teaching hospital, a small rural campus or remote on-demand study. Learners can access, observe and assess the holographic patient simulations from either a mixed reality headset or an Android or iOS smartphone or tablet.
“Conventional simulations are heavily resource-dependent, which makes it difficult to create a global standard of medical training,” added Gupta. “By partnering with GigXR, we’re empowering instructors and institutions to usher in a new era of simulation that facilitates the seamless exchange of global medical knowledge using future-proof technology that transforms those insights from theory to true-to-life practice.”
Offering a selection of scenarios across multiple pathologies, such as anaphylactic shock, acute asthma, acute pulmonary embolism and community acquired pneumonia, learners can master evolving situations and reinforce skills required for acute care settings. For example, the first pathologies being created include emergency scenarios and deteriorating chronic conditions that lead to hospitalization, focusing on the real-time responses and human factors needed to provide safe and effective care in both types of situations.
The holographic simulations will also help overcome other long-term challenges when it comes to creating realistic medical simulation. Research shows that patient-based simulation scenarios result in better learning than manikin-based simulation; however, standardized patients (actors trained to portray the symptoms of a given pathology for simulation purposes, who may sometimes be fellow students or medical faculty) only portray a simulated illness, which prohibits effective use of diagnostic tools (as the “patient” is not actually ill).
With the new holographic simulations created by GigXR and Cambridge, learners can grab a holographic stethoscope and listen to the holographic patient’s lungs to assess and treat clinical conditions like COPD or pneumonia.
“With mixed reality, we can overlay as many or as few digital elements on the learner’s physical space as needed, from the holographic patient itself through to advanced diagnostic and monitoring equipment such as point of care ultrasound. This ensures the environment is relevant to the training. A virtual state-of-the-art ER is not helpful if you practice in a small rural hospital without that equipment – the holographic simulations we’re creating with GigXR remove this barrier,” said Riikka Hofmann, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge.
The University of Cambridge is also initiating research alongside development of the holographic simulations. A dedicated group of researchers will be crafting the benchmarks and criteria for evaluating learning and patient outcomes with mixed reality devices, as well as evaluating the products and resulting efficiencies for the institution. The research will guide development so that the holographic simulations will come to market optimized and supported by academic insights.
“We are designing a research-based professional learning intervention to evaluate this work with colleagues at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Empirical evidence is essential in further supporting the impact and efficacies of mixed reality training and scaling this technology across the world,” added Hofmann.
“Cambridge has forged an industry-leading path in the integration of mixed reality, medicine and the learning sciences. We are honored to be working with this world-class university, hospital trust and research team. Capitalizing on a tradition of innovation that has already included landmark work on DNA and the discovery of monoclonal antibodies, the University of Cambridge continues to create programs and tools for tomorrow’s healthcare leaders.”
David King Lassman, CEO at GigXR
GigXR, the University of Cambridge and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust plan to launch the holographic simulations in mid-2022.
GigXR is a provider of reality (XR) learning systems for instructor-led teaching and training that enhances learning outcomes for medical and nursing schools, hospitals and higher education and the Department of Defense. GigXR’s Immersive Learning System includes a growing catalogue of mixed reality applications that run on a robust platform, designed to break through the limitations of conventional 2D learning resources, by placing true-to-life 3D simulations and teaching tools in a collaborative physical space using the Microsoft HoloLens 2.
GigXR’s flagship products, HoloPatient and HoloHuman, use volumetric video capture and hyper-realistic 3D models to create safe-to-fail environments in which medical and nursing students can practice vital diagnostic, communication and clinical reasoning skills. GigXR is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA with global customers on five continents.
About Cambridge University Hospitals
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) is one of the largest and best known trusts in the country, delivering high-quality patient care through Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie Hospitals. CUH is a leading national centre for specialist treatment for rare or complex conditions and a university teaching hospital with a worldwide reputation.
CUH is a key partner in Cambridge University Health Partners (CUHP), one of only six academic health science centres in the UK, and is at the heart of the development of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus (CBC), which brings together on one site world-class biomedical research, patient care and education. As part of the Campus development, Papworth Hospital has created a bespoke, purpose-built hospital, and AstraZeneca is building a new global R&D centre and corporate headquarters. The Campus is one of the Government’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) comprehensive biomedical research centres.
About the University of Cambridge and the Faculty of Education
The University of Cambridge is one of the world’s top ten leading universities, with a rich history of radical thinking dating back to 1209. Its mission is to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence. The University comprises 31 autonomous Colleges and 150 departments, faculties and institutions. Cambridge research spans almost every discipline, from science, technology, engineering and medicine through to the arts, humanities and social sciences, with multi-disciplinary teams working to address major global challenges. Its researchers provide academic leadership, develop strategic partnerships and collaborate with colleagues worldwide.
As one of the world’s leading departments for education, the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge undertakes teaching and research that addresses multiple aspects of the relationship between education and society on an international scale. It has particular strengths in the psychology of education, educational technology, education and international development, and policy-focused research. Most of its research is undertaken through collaborative partnerships that cut across sectors, disciplines and boundaries. Through these, the Faculty aims to deliver scholarship that achieves deep and lasting results: unlocking potential, creating opportunities and enabling happier, healthier lives.