New York-based digital credentialing company Credly today announced that it has raised $11.1 million in a series A funding round led by Zoma Capital and the nonprofit Strada Education Network, with contributions from existing investors New Markets Venture Partners, University Ventures, Lumina Foundation, Pearson, and Lion Brothers Company. This brings Credly’s total venture capital raised to $18.2 million, more than doubling its previous total raised ($7.1 million).
“Credly is working with some of the world’s most recognizable and trusted organizations to build a skills-based currency for the future of work,” said CEO Jonathan Finkelstein. “The combined support of social impact, strategic, and growth capital partners will accelerate Credly’s progress toward connecting people to opportunity based on their verified capabilities and helping organizations make better, more strategic, data-informed human capital decisions.”
Credly’s team works with clients to design credentialing plans personalized to organizational needs and provides assistance post-launch, helping managers navigate things like implementation, issuing, and onboarding. A cloud-hosted analytics tool highlights potential areas for improvement and key metrics like the total number of credentials issued, while Credly’s Credential Dashboard enables customers to design achievement recognition systems that incorporate criteria, evidence, testimonials, expiration and revocation conditions, industry standards, skills and competencies, and other metadata.
Employees can earn digital badges compliant with Open Badges, a technical specification and infrastructure architected by Mozilla in partnership with hundreds of third parties, for attending seminars, seeing capstone projects through to completion, and speaking at professional developer conferences. Credly’s integration with apps like Canvas, Moodle, and Blackboard allow them to track their progress in real time and receive credentials automatically at the completion of modules and assignments.
Earned badges can be shared among contacts on social media and job sites like Facebook and LinkedIn or embedded in blogs and personal websites.
Credly competes with a number of companies — including Accredible and TrueCred — in a digital badges market anticipated to be worth $205.6 million by 2023. But Credly has achieved impressive momentum in its six-year history.
Thousands of education institutions, industry associations, employers, and workforce development programs currently issue badges through Credly’s product suite in over 195 countries, and it counts big-name clients like Adobe, IBM, Pearson, Dell, Oracle, CompTIA, SUNY, the National Wood Flooring Association, Colorado Community College System, and Madison Area Technical College among its customer base.
Last year, Credly acquired Pearson’s Acclaim, an Open Badge service that allows academic institutions and professional organizations such as Microsoft and the American Council on Education to issue digital credentials. The timing was opportune, as Mozilla retired its eponymous Mozilla Backpack program, which allowed users to aggregate and display their Open Badge credentials, in 2018 and migrated all users to Concentric Sky’s open source Badgr platform.
“In the evolving world of work and learning, it has never been more important to have verifiable evidence of skills, capabilities, and achievements. The combination of these two organizations spans every global sector, from trade professions to health care to finance and tech, allowing organizations to better identify, cultivate, and recognize skills.”