Grovo, a company offering “micro-learning” content and related technology/services to help businesses train their employees, has raised $40 million in Series C funding.
The round was led by Accel (which has been involved since Grovo’s seed round and led the Series B) with additional funding from previous backers Costanoa Venture Capital, SoftTech VC and Greg Waldorf, plus new investor Vayner Capital. Grovo has now raised a total of $65 million.
The New York City startup has continued to evolve since I wrote about the Series B nearly a year ago, though it still creates 60- to 90-second videos that deliver specific lessons on how to use online tools like Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Evernote and Dropbox. (CEO and co-founder Jeff Fernandez, pictured above, has said that creating videos that are brief but still valuable is “all about how you lay out and structure the information.”)
However, Fernandez told me yesterday that the company has learned that the format is “relatively universal,” so it’s expanded to cover management and workplace communication. For example, he said Grovo has created videos on “how to listen appropriately to feedback” and “how to deliver timely feedback.”
In fact, Fernandez said that Grovo has been developing its own content for internal training, which it plans to release publicly. He didn’t want to reveal too much about that content yet, except to say, “One of the things that is hard for any company, especially fast-growth companies, is effective managerial training.”He added that over the course of 2015, Grovo’s team doubled from 100 to 200 people and its annualized recurring revenue (it charges a subscription fee) went up 400 percent. New customers include WeWork, the Wyndham Hotel Group and the National Basketball Association.
Up next: Adding new kinds of content, including GIFs (like the one above), quizzes and podcasts. The idea of a 90-second podcast might seem a little strange, but Fernandez said the company is sticking to its guns, with content where “every word matters” and that delivers “a discrete amount of information with a specific goal in 60 to 90 seconds.” (Grovo will also be bringing the smaller pieces of content together around larger themes and concepts.)
And Grovo is looking at international growth, though not necessarily right away. The product has been used in 190 different countries, but Fernandez estimated that 70 to 80 percent of users are still in the United States. He said that releasing international versions of Grovo is “absolutely a priority” for 2017 and 2018.