Home Madrid education Odilo raises $64 million as its white-label e-learning library has 8,500 customers and 170 million users

Odilo raises $64 million as its white-label e-learning library has 8,500 customers and 170 million users

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Online learning – whether as a supplement to physical media or live lessons; or the main or even the only medium used – is now an indelible part of the educational experience; and now a Spanish startup that has built a platform to help bring online learning to more places is announcing a round of growth funding to further expand its business.

Odilo, a Madrid-based startup that built a white-label platform used by businesses or organizations to create their own personalized e-learning offerings in a B2B2C model, raised €60 million ($64 million). of dollars). London-based investor Bregal Milestone led the round with participation from previous backers Swanlaab and CDTI. Odilo does not disclose its valuation, but it has been around since 2012 and raised less than $30 million before.

You may not know the name “Odilo”. Rodrigo Rodriguez, the founder and CEO, described Odilo to me as a “Netflix” for education because of its large catalog — the company has so far amassed a catalog of 3.9 million items, including some 3 million books but also podcasts, full courses and other materials, from 6,300 publishers in 43 languages ​​– and the fact that people are tapping into that content on demand, using what you want.

Unlike Netflix, however, it operates as a tag service, so you may never see the Odilo branding. Still, it is possible that you have used one of the educational portals it powers. Odilo has so far accumulated 8,500 customers in 52 countries, covering some 170 million users in total, the list including government agencies, libraries and educational organizations like MIT, but also large enterprise customers such as Google. and Vodafone.

Rodriguez said the new funding will be used to continue to grow this catalog as well as expand deeper into more markets, particularly North America and the African continent.

The company was born out of two important technology trends.

The first is the rise of e-learning, which in its broadest view – which can include both academic learning as well as vocational training and everything in between – was estimated to be around $315 billion. in 2021 and will increase at a CAGR. 20% for the next six years according to the researchers. This whole trend, of course, was accelerated by Covid-19, when schools and other in-person learning experiences were closed, but it was already significant even before the pandemic, and given the economy of virtual experiences. , it is likely to remain in place .

The second is the rise of “headless” systems: services designed as extensible platforms, where customers have the ability to use a variety of APIs and other tools to create their own personalized experiences. These are very common in other areas of technology that are otherwise very complex to build from scratch – eCommerce backends (e.g. Shopify or Commercetools), content management systems (e.g. Contentful ) – and now Odilo is effectively using that same model and applying it to e-learning.

(And for emphasis, there are others who are also pursuing the idea of ​​creating platforms that allow others to create customizable libraries of e-learning: Perlego in London has described itself as a “Spotify (online learning platform pursuing something similar and also raising funds to build that; Odilo’s scale is very impressive in this respect, though.)

I noticed that Google is one of Odilo’s customers: the company, one of the undisputed global technology giants, has taken a big step forward in education thanks to products like its Google Collaborative Multimedia Classroom; his search for Google Scholar academic documents; YouTube of course; its main search engine and much more. He uses Odilo to create training and education libraries for his employees, Rogriduez told me, but had he ever approached Odilo to create a more consumer-oriented offering?

No, that’s the short answer he gave me, but he noted that he’s been talking to some really big tech companies, who want to look at this kind of product but maybe don’t want to invest in building it they -selves – not at least at first – – to explore this very idea.

That, plus the large existing market, are two reasons why investors have been willing to invest, even at a time when raising funds is getting a little trickier for startups.

“Odilo is an innovative player in the fast-growing educational content market, with an impressive product range, an extensive catalog of content and a top-notch digital infrastructure,” said Francesco Canessa, director of Bregal Milestone, in a press release. . “There is significant scope for internationalization and scaling of the platform – two levers of value creation where Bregal Milestone has significant expertise. As a leader in its field with a strong and loyal customer base and an unique, ODILO is exactly the type of company we are looking for, and we are excited about the prospects for growth to come as we work together.”