SEATTLE, March 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Skilljar, whose innovative training platform is helping enterprises accelerate customer and partner success, today announced a $16.4 million Series A from new investors Mayfield and Shasta Ventures, with participation from existing investor Trilogy Equity Partners.
Founded by Amazon veterans Sandi Lin and Jason Stewart, Skilljar tripled the number of customers year over year in 2016 and 2017, primarily through word-of-mouth marketing. As a result, Skilljar is in a strong position to lead the customer training market estimated to be worth $12 billion.
“Educating customers and partners at scale has become the key to driving successful product adoption and ultimately revenue growth,” said Skilljar CEO Lin. “Skilljar enables companies to empower their end users by delivering beautiful, effective and data-based training experiences around the world.”
Lin and Stewart originally met while working at Amazon, where Lin recognized the need for a scalable training platform to educate Amazon Marketplace sellers on how to best succeed on the platform. Since its founding in 2013, Skilljar has partnered with businesses across multiple industries and geographies – from North American self-move and self-storage leader U-Haul and Latin American marketplace leader Mercado Libre to technology innovators MapR and Zendesk.
Caitlin Wood, senior manager of Customer Education at Zendesk, said, “We selected Skilljar because we were looking for a training solution that was agile, beautifully designed, and customer-centric. No one else in the market is addressing customer training as elegantly as Skilljar, and we couldn’t be happier to be partnering with them as we expand the reach of our program.”
The value of proactive customer education has become mission-critical for companies. According to industry research, 28 percent of business software licenses are unused or underused, leading to customer dissatisfaction and churn. Skilljar’s customer training platform helps companies generate millions of dollars in new and retained revenue, train thousands more end users per month, accelerate customer onboarding time by as much as 90 percent, and improve operational efficiency by more than a third.
“Since launching our training program on Skilljar, our education team has dramatically expanded the reach of our course offerings to targeted communities of users – in our case, dev-ops folks, developers and data analysts,” said Suzanne Ferry, vice president of Global Training and Enablement at MapR Technologies. “Skilljar is incredibly easy to navigate. The flexible design, the course set-up, maintenance tools, and Salesforce app make it far and away the best learning management system.”
New investors and Skilljar board members Rajeev Batra of Mayfield and Doug Pepper of Shasta, who were co-investors in marketing automation leader Marketo, underscore Skilljar’s potential as a category defining SaaS leader.
“We are honored to partner with Sandi, Jason and the Skilljar team to build the first true customer training platform focused on driving product adoption and success. While Marketo changed how businesses market their products and services, we believe Skilljar has a much larger opportunity in transforming how businesses train and enable their customers to use and unlock value from their products and services,” commented Rajeev Batra, partner at Mayfield.
“After investing in software companies for nearly 20 years, it has become clear to me that the single most important determinant of customer success is how well and how quickly customers are on-boarded and engaged with a product or service,” said Doug Pepper, managing director at Shasta Ventures. “Skilljar has the best customer enablement platform for today’s enterprises. It gives companies the ability to quickly train their customers – at scale – and keep them engaged and productive.”
Skilljar will use the new financing to expand their team, fuel go-to-market programs, and accelerate product development. To learn more about how Skilljar can help power customers and partners, please visit www.skilljar.com.
Skilljar delivers an innovative training platform which enables businesses to provide scalable and effective customer education. The enterprise-grade solution is used by hundreds of companies to accelerate customer onboarding and product adoption by enabling multimedia course creation, an intuitive and mobile-responsive learning environment, and automated CRM data integrations. Founded in 2013, Skilljar is based in Seattle and backed by top-tier venture capital firms Mayfield and Shasta Ventures. For more information, visit www.skilljar.com.
Mayfield is a global venture capital firm with a people-first philosophy and over $2.7 billion under management. Mayfield invests primarily in early-stage consumer and enterprise companies. Since its founding in 1969, the firm has invested in more than 530 companies, resulting in 116 IPOs and more than 200 mergers or acquisitions. Some notable investments include Elastica, Gigya, Lyft, Marketo, Moat, Servicemax, and SolarCity.
About Shasta Ventures
Shasta Ventures is a leading early-stage venture capital firm partnering with bold creative entrepreneurs who are passionate about building epic products and amazing experiences. Founded in 2004, Shasta Ventures has more than $1B under management funding companies specializing in enterprise software, consumer technology and emerging platforms including Anaplan, Apptio, Dollar Shave Club, Eero, Mint, Nest, Nextdoor, Smule, Zuora and more. The firm has offices in Menlo Park and San Francisco, California. Find out more at www.shastaventures.com, or follow us on Twitter at @shasta
About Trilogy Equity Partners
Trilogy Equity Partners is a closely held, early stage venture firm based in Bellevue, Washington. Their roots include the formation and leadership of some of the largest mobile operators in the United States as well as other global technology and wireless companies. Trilogy applies a team-oriented approach, built upon deep operational experience and a flexible capital structure to help entrepreneurs build great companies. More information on the firm can be found at http://www.trilogyequity.com
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