Degreed gets $42M to help build a tool to help employees learn the right skills

When an employee is looking to advance in

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When an employee is looking to advance in their career, where they work might have a kind of strict hierarchical path for the role they’re in and what titles come next — but there’s a good chance that employee might want to try something new without leaving their company. Instead of going from just an agent to a manager of agents, or following some existing promotion line, a company that’s large enough probably has plenty of other opportunities within it across many different divisions — each with either a directly-comparable skillset, or one that might need some slight additions. That’s where Degreed, an online service for identifying those skill gaps and how to pick them up, as well as track them, comes. Instead of locking employees into a single trajectory, Degreed hopes to give employers tools to help employees improve their skills even more, and in the end become much more valuable to the employer. Degreed today said it has raised $42 million in a venture financing round co-led by Owl Ventures and Jump Capital, with Founders Circle Capital and existing investors participating. The service launches inside an organization, identifies the content that offers an opportunity to work on skills like project management (often made by the company itself), and then shows employees how to start working on those skills. And those skill gaps between roles might actually be much smaller than those employees think, and it’s just a matter of identifying what they need to work on in order to grow within their company. After that, it identifies the best ways to get those skills, which can come in the form of content or potentially other avenues, and helps employees figure out how far along their progression path they are. “The real challenge is that no matter how big or sophisticated any one content source is, whether it’s higher education and formal training, that’s increasingly a smaller slice of the pie,” Chris McCarthy, who was named CEO of the company today, said. “If you know where to look, you can build any skill. As content proliferates — for enterprises and for individuals — all these platforms are islands of learning. They do a good job of getting through that experience. Nothing prior to that is weaving through those islands of learning.”

Coursera, an online learning

Stamping out student plagiarism is

ClassDojo today is announcing that

Utah’s Plurals …

Pluralsight, the Utah-based education

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Pluralsight, the Utah-based education technology company, has revealed its IPO filing. Given the timing of the unveiling, the company is likely targeting a May public debut. Its core business is online software development courses, helping people improve their skills in categories like IT, data and security. Businesses small and large pay Pluralsight to help train their employees. It also has offerings for individual subscribers. In the filing, the company acknowledges that it is a competitive landscape, and names Cornerstone OnDemand, Udacity, Udemy, LinkedIn Learning as others in a comparable market. It also mentions General Assembly, which was recently acquired by Adecco for $413 million. This is the first glimpse we get at Pluralsight’s financials. For 2017, the company brought in $166.8 million in revenue, up from $131.8 million in 2016 and $108.4 million in 2015. Losses are growing, however. This is partly due to a sizeable increase in sales and marketing expenditures. For 2017, the company lost $96.5 million. This is up from losses of $20.6 million in 2016 and $26.4 million in 2015. Pluralsight has been around since 2004. Like many startups outside of the San Francisco Bay Area, the company bootstrapped its business and didn’t raise significant outside funding until 2013. Pluralsight previously raised nearly $200 million in financing. The largest shareholder is Insight Venture Partners, which owned 46.1 percent of the shares prior to the IPO, an unusually high percentage. Co-founder and CEO Aaron Skonnard owned 13.4 percent and investment group ICONIQ owned 8.1 percent. Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan served as lead underwriters. Wilson Sonsini and Goodwin Procter served as counsel. Pluralsight plans to list on the Nasdaq under the ticker “PS.” A provision in the JOBS Act from 2012 helped make it so that companies could file confidentially and then reveal financials and other business information just weeks before making public debuts. This helps companies avoid too much scrutiny in the months leading up to an IPO. There is also a quiet period in this time, meaning that companies are limited in what they can say publicly about their businesses. Like most tech companies, Pluralsight chose to take advantage of this confidential filing provision. But it also announced that it filed, something that companies don’t usually do. Most choose to stay quiet about IPO plans until they make the filings public, unless reporters break the news first. It was no surprise to those who have been following Utah’s tech scene that Pluralsight is planning to list on the stock market this year. The venture-backed “unicorn” has been a late-stage company for several years now, with a reported valuation of $1 billion as of 2014. After a slow first couple of months, there has been a flurry of tech IPO activity in recent weeks. Dropbox, Spotify and Zuora recently debuted. Pivotal, Smartsheet and Carbon Black are amongst the companies expected to list in the coming weeks.

Coursera, an online learning

Stamping out student plagiarism is

ClassDojo today is announcing that

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