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GrowthSpace upskilling platform raises $25 million to grow its global business – londonbusinessblog.com

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As the job market remains tight (mass layoffs and tech workforce freezes aside), companies are laser-focused on employee retention. One of the areas they invest in is upskilling, which aims to equip employees with new skills in departments they are unfamiliar with. For example, Walmart announced in 2021 that it would invest nearly $1 billion over the next five years to give its employees access to higher education and training.

Unsurprisingly, ‘skilling’ platforms have benefited immensely from these investments. According to to Crunchbase, upskilling and reskilling startups raised $2.1 billion from VCs between early 2021 and 2022. One of the winners is GrowthSpace, founded by Omer Glass, which uses algorithms to match individual employees and groups of employees with experts for development sprints. The company announced today that it has raised $25 million in Series B financing led by Zeev Ventures, with participation from M12 (Microsoft’s venture fund) and Vertex Ventures, bringing GrowthSpace’s total to $44 million.

GrowthSpace was founded in 2018 by Dan Terner, Izhak Kedar and Glass. Glass, a former management consultant, was approached several years ago by Terner, then the COO of Signals Analytics, a company with a significant customer churn problem.

“Terner realized there was no effective, results-driven employee development platform to empower companies [including his] to invest better in their employees,” says Glass. “This led to the creation of GrowthSpace…During the pandemic and amid the current economic uncertainty, companies have realized they need to double down on talent development.”

GrowthSpace combines a software-as-a-service platform with a marketplace of experts — providers of mentoring, coaching, training, and workshops. Based on a taxonomy of professional backgrounds and skills, including tags for different areas of expertise, sectors and roles, the platform’s AI model attempts to predict the right programs and coach-student matches with the highest probability of achieving the desired development outcomes .

Image Credits: GrowthSpace

Of course, AI doesn’t always get it right. Biased datasets can lead to unreliable predictions and – where appropriate – coach-student matches. Upskilling already suffers from an issue of human bias, PwC research shows to show that companies focus too much on upskilling postgraduates at the expense of nearly everyone else. Employees are often passed for training based on their ethnicity and gender, PwC also found, with women twice as likely to report gender discrimination as men.

When asked, Glass did not provide a detailed account of GrowthSpace’s judgmental efforts. But he said the AI ​​system tries to reduce bias by presenting a “mirror image” of each user that excludes personal characteristics such as race, gender and age.

“GrowthSpace has developed a unique algorithm that deletes 90% of users’ personal data from its platform within three weeks of user onboarding, once the data is no longer used regularly,” Glass said. “[This enables] to minimize exposure to users’ personal data.”

The GrowthSpace platform can be implemented modularly to meet the requirements of larger companies or set up as a comprehensive solution, Glass says, allowing executives to allocate resources to different types of programs. All of the startup’s services are linked to business KPIs to provide management with reports to measure the impact of upskilling programs on business performance.

“The industry needs to evolve significantly to meet the demands of business growth and professional development over the next decade,” Glass said. “The Great Recession emphasized the importance of measuring growth more accurately and provided more scalable and consistent resources for employees to upskill and retrain at a much faster rate. Learning and development must also be more flexible and responsible.”

GrowthSpace competes with platforms like GOMYCODE, Worker.ai and scaler, the latest of which hit a valuation of $700 million in January. But Glass claims GrowthSpace has seen significant growth over the past year and now reaches 3,000 active users from 200 paying customers, including a US government agency, Microsoft, Siemens, EY and Johnson & Johnson.

In fact, Glass says he wasn’t actively seeking capital.

“As investors became aware of the recent growth… they got closer [me] to invest,” he says. “GrowthSpace will use these funds to expand globally to meet rapidly growing demand and continue to increase its competitive advantage through technological innovation.”

The startup — which has $44 million in the bank — also plans to expand its 70-strong New York City-based team, aiming to reach 100 employees by the end of the year.


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