Finance

Sololearn, an instructional coding app, used this 22-page pitch deck to raise a $24 million Series B

Summary List PlacementEven before the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated transitions to digital-first technologies, companies and employees were looking to upskill and hone their data and coding abilities. A June 2020 report from cloud-based course provider TalentLMS noted that 42% of companies stepped up their efforts to retrain employees during the pandemic. For some professionals, learning to code is a skill they've been able to develop themselves at home. On Wednesday, Armenia-based Sololearn, an instructional coding app that offers interactive lessons through digestible course content and peer-to-peer guidance, announced a $24 million Series B round led by Drive Capital, with participation from existing investors...

Yeva Hyusyan, Sololearn

Summary List Placement

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated transitions to digital-first technologies, companies and employees were looking to upskill and hone their data and coding abilities.

A June 2020 report from cloud-based course provider TalentLMS noted that 42% of companies stepped up their efforts to retrain employees during the pandemic. For some professionals, learning to code is a skill they’ve been able to develop themselves at home.

On Wednesday, Armenia-based Sololearn, an instructional coding app that offers interactive lessons through digestible course content and peer-to-peer guidance, announced a $24 million Series B round led by Drive Capital, with participation from existing investors like Learn Capital and Prosus Ventures. 

Sololearn’s cofounder and CEO, Yeva Hyusyan, told Insider the startup’s mobile-first, flexible approach to teaching will be the only way to reach the large number of global workers looking to develop coding skills in the coming decade.

“There’s no way we can scale the existing educational institutions to the level that is needed to reskill 1 billion people,” Hyusyan told Insider, referring to the World Economic Forum’s own estimate of how many workers might look to reskill by 2030.

Hyusyan compared the Sololearn student experience to taking a shower “10 minutes every day.” Lessons are “bite-sized” and instruction incorporates a social element that is a key driver of customer engagement, according to Hyusyan.

Sololearn has 21 million profiles on its app and is adding between 300,000 and 350,000 new registrations each month, according to the company’s pitch deck. Over the last year, the startup has grown its active users by 300%, according to a press release.

To date, Sololearn has raised more than $30 million since launching in 2014. It currently has about 100 employees spread across offices in Armenia, the US, and Europe, a number the startup expects to double by the end of the year, according to the release.

For finance workers in particular, one coding language offered by Sololearn might be the most relevant.

“Our Python course is certainly a big advantage. Being able to code in Python is a big thing for finance people,” Hyusyan. 

Sololearn is now looking to branch into career-specific courses tailored to fit the individual coding needs of specific industries. After launching a coding-for-marketers course in early July, Hyusyan said that a coding-for-finance lesson is the next priority for the startup and will be launched at some point within the coming months. 

“It’s one thing to go and download a learn-Python app for a finance person. What we’re doing is customizing our courses for different professions right now,” Hyusyan said.

Here’s the 22-page pitch deck Sololearn used to raise its Series B.

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