YC-Backed GO1 Wants To Make Compliance Training Suck Less

GO1, an employee training startup out of Y Combinator’s Summer 2015 cohort, is launching in North America to help companies onboard and educate their employees in a more effective fashion.

Anyone who has worked for a large company knows the frustration of completing yearly compliance training. Generally this means watching a couple of hour-long web seminars about being a team player or avoiding corruption, for instance, which require you to click through slides of information that all seems rather obvious.

Founded by an Australian team of educators out of Oxford University, GO1 is applying some of the concepts proven by edtech startups, such as Coursera and Udemy, to employee training.

“For a lot of companies, compliance training is fairly ad-hoc,” says GO1 founder Andrew Barnes, who is a Rhodes scholar finishing up a masters in Education Technology at Oxford. “It’s a really bad use of people’s time and it creates a sense of resentment toward the company, when really, training should be empowering the staff.”

Organizations using GO1 can customize their own white-labelled training portal by either adding courses from GO1’s marketplace or creating their own with company materials. Instead of a generic 50-slide PowerPoint presentation about why listening is important, a GO1 course might feature a TED Talk by an Army general followed by two multiple-choice questions about how his story applies to your job.Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 10.32.11 AM

Companies can upload any PowerPoint or web document to GO1, which automatically converts it into an HTML format that employees can download. Whether on a laptop, mobile device, or tablet, employees can view the documents and jot down notes that are saved for later reference.

“This is a very fragmented market, there are a lot of small providers and a lot of frustration for HR managers and employees,” says Barnes. “Our goal is to be the solution for both ends of that equation and provide a consistent single interface for all a company’s training and learning needs.”

In many cases, employee compliance training is required by law. All California businesses that employ more than 50 people, for instance, are legally obliged to provide sexual harassment training to their staff, according to Barnes. Currently many companies aren’t abiding by this law, Barnes says, either because they’re not aware of the legal consequences or because it’s too difficult to do so.

GO1 launched in Australia a year ago, and has since provided training for over 150,000 users spread across nearly a hundred companies.

Customers range from the largest ambulance training program in Australia to a major bank that’s using GO1 for both staff and customer education.

GO1 will focus on growing its business in North America for the duration of the YC program. The service is free for companies with under 10 employees, and currently costs $1 per user per month for larger companies.