An Ottawa-based startup has secured more than $ 1 million in seed funding to improve its course development platform.
LearnExperts, founded in 2019 by Sarah Sedgman, raised $ 1.25 million from Sand Hill North, the MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund, the Capital Angel Network, Toronto’s Maple Leaf Angels, and the Georgian Angel Network.
With 20 years of experience in technology companies such as Cognis, IBM and Kinaxis, Sedgman wanted to disrupt the learning technology industry. She created an AI-powered digital course creation platform that automatically turns existing content into an educational course.
âWe combine AI and human logic to create courses quickly, with a built-in advisor, so your courses look like an expert who created them. “
Dubbed LearnExperts Artificial Intelligence (LEAi), users can start with digital materials (text, videos, photos) that already exist and convert them into an online training program with one click.
âWe want to deliver exceptional value through creating courses that look like magic,â said David Dewar, vice president of technology and user experience at LearnExperts. âWe combine AI and human logic to create courses quickly, with a built-in advisor, so your courses look like an expert who created them. “
With the funding raised, the startup wants to accelerate its lead in the market for digital training solutions.
The global online learning market is growing rapidly as it is expected to grow from $ 144 billion in 2019 to $ 374.3 billion by 2026. As the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed closures and self-isolation, online learning has become the norm for most students safely. continue their studies at home.
However, evidence has also shown that massive open online courses – or MOOCs – have seen an increase in enrollment during the pandemic.
MOOCs are free online learning platforms accessible to everyone in the world. People can start and end any program of their choice at their own pace. These courses are not compulsory and its students are mainly people looking to learn a new skill or a new hobby.
Coursera, a company that offers MOOCs, recorded 10.3 million registrations in 30 days, an increase of 644% over last year. The platform also received more than five million new registrations during the pandemic and provided free access to their university partners for 3,800 courses and 500 specializations, giving free certificates for some courses.
As its own industry, the MOOC market is currently worth US $ 5.6 billion and is expected to grow at an annual rate of 32.09% through 2025.
In a 2021 study by Chris Impey and Martin Formanek, they found that the strongest enrollment growth was seen in technical skills courses like neural networks, general skills courses such as communication, and language skills courses. leisure and recreation.