Talent Garden is a sort of “European-WeWork-meets-General-Assembly” in that its business model is a combination of co-working spaces (in places like Italy, Austria, Romania, among others) plus online/offline digital courses. It’s also a post-Series B company (its last round was $73.5 million), having raised from investors such as 500 Global and Social Capital. It’s now upping its game further with the acquisition of a majority (54%) stake in Hyper Island — a place some Europeans regard as the continent’s “Digital Harvard University.”
Hyper Island emerged in the 90s as a school of excellence in the emerging world of UX and games design and has gone on to produce an enormous range of talent, which is routinely hoovered-up by the biggest tech players.
The combination of the two will no doubt expand both’s ability to scale their online courses (and offline, where applicable).
For instance, Talent Garden offers myriad business training courses for the digital world, processing around 20,000 students a year. Likewise, Hyper Island has traditionally been best known for its online education, but with Talent Garden, that inline component will no doubt be expanded. Talent Garden also has 20 campuses across Europe.
Talent Garden co-founder Rasa Strumskyte told me:
Over 60% of our courses are online and the rest on campus and we will work to expand existing courses to more markets and create new ones, especially online.
It’s estimated that some 97 million new digital jobs will emerge in the next few years, with the global digital education market estimated to grow from $8.4 billion in 2020 to $33.2 billion by 2025, making it one of the fastest-growing sectors of the post-pandemic era.
Hyper Island has a global presence operating in Europe, Asia-Pacific, North and South America through physical establishments in the U.K., Singapore, U.S. and Brazil.
The combined entity says it will have expected revenues of €50 million in 2022, 20,000 professionals trained a year, 5,000 students placed on the job market “with a 98% placement rate and more than 4,500 startups and digital innovators as teachers and community members.”
Davide Dattoli, Talent Garden’s co-founder and executive president said:
Through joining forces with Hyper Island, our project is making a new leap forward. In such an important but fragmented market, we are [as ready as] ever before to act as aggregators and game changers. We will expand our training offering for the benefit of many current and future workers who are living through this time of digital transition.
Irene Boni, new CEO of Talent Garden said: “Talent Garden has an opportunity to grow considerably in the in the digital education market in Europe, also by training individuals as well as large companies that want to take advantage of the benefits of digitization — which is certainly a technological issue, but most of all a question of human capital.”
Before joining Talent Garden, Boni had been working for the past 10 years in the unicorn YOOX Net-a-Porter (today part of Richemont luxury group) as co-general manager. Before that she worked at McKinsey.
Fredrik Månsson, chairman of Hyper Island said: “Through the alliance with Talent Garden we will jointly get a substantial increase in the resources to accelerate both companies growth and impact in the world.”