Grovo is flying high and preaching grandly: “The pain of ineffective training software is felt universally,” CEO Jeff Fernandez told EdSurge in an email. “Organizations are ready to embrace a radically new approach to learning.”
It may sound sententious, but investors are sold. Grovo, which makes a corporate learning management system and training videos, has raised a $40 million Series C round led by existing investor Accel Partners. Costanoa Venture Capital, SoftTech VC, Greg Waldorf and new investor Vayner Capital also participated.
The Series C round comes just one year after the company's $15 million Series B round, and puts Grovo’s total funding at $65 million. Grovo claims its recurring revenue has increased 400 percent over the past 12 months, thanks to new clients including The Wyndham Hotel Group, AARP, and the National Basketball Association.
Founded in 2010, the company offers training videos and advises corporations on how to align their training with business goals. Grovo pairs each of its clients with a two-person team that provides hands-on support for keeping the company on track and on integrating their content with Grovo’s. According to Fernandez, one client referred to them as “colleagues at another office.”
The videos last a minute to 144 seconds, catering to the current generation of office workers and their shorter attention spans. Topics range from sexual discrimination to enabling Gmail shortcuts.
Videos form the linchpin of Grovo’s “microlearning” approach, in which employees watch the clips as part of their “training path”—a trajectory for employees designed by the client and Grovo—in small moments of pause at work or as part of formal training. Indeed, a core tenet of Grovo’s approach is that employees will seek out their own professional development. Companies can also integrate the videos into their own training, using Grovo as both a learning management system and a content library, or work with the company on custom videos or upload third party videos. Grovo claims to have over 5,000 microlearning videos in its reservoirs.
In a press release, Accel partner and Grovo board member Sameer Gandhi estimated corporate training to be a $130 billion market, leaving Grovo plenty of room to grow. One feature that may hinder its growth, according to PC Magazine contributing editor William Fenton, is a lack of language localization. (Video transcripts only exist in English.) He does offer some praise for the ease of integration
There is a tradeoff inherent in using Grovo, according to PC Magazine contributing editor William Fenton, who praised the ease of Grovo’s setup and integration with other software but went on to say that Grovo can do less than Moodle or Absorb LMS. Would you pick easy adoption or extensive capabilities? Investors are betting that companies will choose the former. Fenton gave the tool four out of five stars.
The company plans to expand its core product offering with the funding.
Within the past year, Grovo has increased its headcount from 100 to 200 employees. It’s a swift pace of change in a company that places workplace culture high on its list of priorities. The company does, however, have the necessary tools at hand: the homepage proclaims, “We even use Grovo at Grovo.”