Austin’s edtech startup Aceable adds another $50 million for accelerated expansion

Aceable, the Austin-based mobile edtech service for state-accredited classes, is getting an “A” from investors again as private equity firm HGGC pours $50 million into the company.

In the eight years since Aceable’s launch, the company has grown from a driver’s ed test prep service to an online training tool for drivers and real estate agents.

Only four years ago, Aceable was raising $4 million in financing, from investors including Floodgate Capital and Silverton Partners.

Now, with another $50 million in the bank and more than $100 million in total capital raised, Aceable is looking to grow the number of certifications it offers — with a special focus on professional development.

The company said that it would look to grow both organically and inorganically (which is an inelegant way of saying that it’s likely to go shopping for potential acquisitions).

Re-skilling and up-skilling are set to become buzzwords again as Americans who were laid off because of the inadequate support small businesses received from Congress in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak begin looking for new work.

Edtech has seen a huge boost during the pandemic, with millions of Americans turning to online classes to learn new skills or trades or hone existing skillsets.

“Changing or growing your career can create new opportunities to reach your life goals. Our vision is to make it accessible to anyone to gain a skill and a certification capable of setting you on the path of a well-paid career that you love,” said Blake Garrett, Aceable’s founder and chief executive. “We see HGGC as a strategic, long-term financial partner that embraces and accelerates our vision to create unparalleled education experiences that make it accessible for people to change their lives.”

Other startups have also landed tens of millions of dollars to capture this newfound interest in reskilling or upskilling. In June, Degreed raised $32 million for its own spin on the edtech market. But there’s still some question over who benefits from these new platforms.

It’s possible that Aceable could exist along a continuum with some of these other platforms, or serve communities that aren’t addressed by the current options on the market.

As the company notes, one in four working professionals takes license and certification training — and these classes are often the gatekeeper to greater financial success.

“We are big believers in Aceable’s mission and their long track record of success in developing mobile-first education technology,” said John Block, partner at HGGC. “Our investment reinforces our confidence in the team and will allow Aceable to grow to the next level while helping people achieve the life they want through continuing education.”

Aceable now counts more than 2,200 hours of educational content on its platform, which has been used to train 13 million students across 36 states. The company was first spun up from the Capital Factory accelerator program and has raised its cash from investors including Sageview Capital, Silverton Partners, Floodgate Fund, Next Coast Venture Partners, Wildcat VC, Nextgen Partners and now HGGC.