Lesson.ly, a startup that provides onboarding and training tools, announced this morning that it has raised a $1.1 million round led by Allos Ventures, and participated in by several angels. The firm claims to be the first company to “count all three ExactTarget co-founders as investors.” ExactTarget, a Midwest company like Lesson.ly, was acquired by Salesforce in 2013.
The $1.1 million follows a smaller seed round in 2013. The company declined to detail the amount of its former fundraising. It did note that its most recent capital event was oversubscribed — the company had initially planned to raise a flat $1 million, but accepted 10 percent more cash.
The company intends to use its new capital, it informed TechCrunch, to grow its marketing spend, and build out its product, normal enough stuff.
TechCrunch last discussed Lesson.ly in late 2013, when the company had three employees, and revenue growth in the hundreds of percent per month. Given its youth at that stage, however, the relative percentages weren’t too meaningful — the law of large numbers does work to the inverse, in reverse. Today, Lesson.ly has 10 employees, expects to make it to 12 by the end of the year, and plans to nearly double its staff in 2015.
According to the company’s founder and CEO Max Yoder, Lesson.ly’s revenue has grown 850 percent this year. He expects the company’s top line to grow 300 percent in 2015.
Lesson.ly counts companies like Stripe and Lyft among its customer base, Yoder told TechCrunch. I asked if the company was heavily dependent on any single customer, but was told that no single account constitutes more than 10 percent of its revenue.
As a company, Lesson.ly stands out somewhat for being a staunchly non-Valley play, but one that is more than willing to sell to Valley-centric customers. I asked Yoder how the Midwest startup scene was growing. He cited several exits as important moments, and stated that “angel funding is stronger than ever, and interest from Chicago and Ohio VCs has grown significantly over the years.” I was once a participant in the Chicago technology scene, making that somewhat edifying to hear.
Training is not the sexiest technology, but growth is the most attractive thing a young company can post. It will be interesting to see if Lesson.ly can not only meet its 2015 growth expectations, but best them.