With new technologies making it easier than ever before to share and distribute quality learning content, businesses are rushing to take advantage. Plus, with the pace that technology changes these days, companies want to help keep their employees up to speed and familiar with the latest version of Salesforce, Excel or whatever the case may be.
Online training resources have been around for years, but OpenSesame is on a mission to make buying and selling eLearning courses and content as simple as buying a song or movie on iTunes. As the online training market takes off, OpenSesame wants to be the App Store or go-to marketplace for the best content, where any company can buy courses without paying for a subscription or expensive licensing fees.
Through OpenSesame’s marketplace, businesses can search through over 20,000 courses from over 300 sellers. They can preview the content, read reviews from other buyers and learn more about the company selling the content. OpenSesame allows the seller to set the price of the content, offering the owner a 60/40 share of the profits for distributing through its marketplace.
But the real value, says OpenSesame Joshua Blank, is what the company has done technologically to ensure that the content available through its marketplace is compatible with the Learning Management System (LMS) or whatever platform the buying company is using to display the content and offer to its employees. Companies use a wide range of LMS platforms to organize and manage their corporate training content, and Blank says that OpenSesame’s content is now compatible with about 75 percent of the options out there.
With content from publishers and resources like FranklinCovey, Pearson and John Wiley, Blank says that OpenSesame has been able to land customers like DISH networks, Five Guys and Dun & Bradstreet and is now working with several hundred enterprise customers in total.
As part of its effort to become the largest single source for business-centric eLearning courses, OpenSesame announced today that it has raised $8 million of Series A financing, in a round led by Partech Ventures. The round sees Partech General Partner Nicolas El Baze join the startup’s board of directors, and brings OpenSesame’s total financing to just over $10 million.
With MOOCs changing the way that education content is delivered, OpenSesame is working to change the purchasing mechanism, drawing on the tried and true marketplace model of iTunes and many others. Offering training courses for employees and businesses, the idea is for OpenSesame to act as an online store where customers can buy a la carte, paying for what they need, when they need it, at a cost that ends up being much more affordable than in-person training — or at least that’s the idea.
Blank says that the model has led to 100 percent month-over-month growth in revenue for OpenSesame, something that the company hopes will continue with its new funding under its belt and a bunch of new products and additions (particularly mobile) heading down the pipeline early this year.