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WorkRamp, a provider of learning management systems (LMS), today announced that it has raised $40 million in a series C funding round co-led by Salesforce Ventures, Slack Fund, and Susa Ventures with participation from OMERS Ventures, GTMfund, PeopleTech Angels, and UpHonest Capital. According to CEO and cofounder Ted Blosser, the capital illustrates continued growth in the LMS sector at a time when companies are shifting more and more of their operations remote.

“In today’s rapidly changing work environment, companies are struggling to keep up because they aren’t able to properly enable and develop their people,” Blosser said in a statement. “When organizations can provide stellar and engaging learning opportunities, they become unstoppable. They are empowered to attract and retain top talent, exceed revenue targets, and inspire customers to become advocates. Learning becomes a growth engine for the entire business.”

According to a 2021 LinkedIn survey, from 2019 to 2020, the number of enterprise learners more than doubled while the amount of learning increased by 58% more hours per learner. The same survey found that, whether because of skills gaps or impending labor shortages, 59% of learning and development professionals considered upskilling and reskilling programs their top priority in 2021.

Accelerated learning

WorkRamp, which Blosser, previously a product manager at Box, founded with fellow Box veteran and head of engineering Arsh Mand in 2016, pivoted to the employee training segment after it acquired Prelude, a stealth Y Combinator-backed company working on an enterprise commerce marketplace. WorkRamp’s platform enables companies to create in-person and digital training programs and measure their impact through analytics and reports.

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WorkRamp’s screen recording and slide sharing features integrate with workflows in Salesforce, Slack, and Chrome to deliver coaching tips that might improve performance. Managers can use WorkRamp to launch lessons and provide feedback in the form of reviews and star ratings.

“[W]e focused our efforts on delivering key business metrics to our customers that correlate training performance with revenue performance, employee happiness, and customer loyalty,” Blosser told VentureBeat via email. “[For example,] we released a new reporting product last year that allows [companies] to visualize learning metrics from existing data sources in [their] LMS environment … [Our platform also takes] in data from other tools to prove training effectiveness across the company (i.e., measure training efficacy based on location, teams, quota attainment, etc.) [and pushes] data outwards to various platforms like Tableau or Salesforce to correlate training data to business goals … Our vision is to expand on this further by leveraging this data for predictive modeling as it relates to learner behavior, surfacing the relevant training content.”

Increasing demand

Competition among LMS vendors is red-hot, with Fortune Business Insights anticipating that the market will grow from $13.38 billion in value in 2021 to $44.49 billion in 2028. Blosser sees Docebo, Seismic, and Litmos as WorkRamp’s top rivals, with Seismic drawing particular ire over its acquisition of training platform Lessonly last August.

Blosser attributes the broader industry’s growth to an increased desire for companies to attract, develop, and retain talent. McKinsey reports that 69% of companies engage in more skill building than before the pandemic began. A separate poll from LinkedIn found that employees who feel their skills aren’t put to good use in their current job are 10 times more likely to be looking for a new job.

That’s not to suggest LMS is a silver bullet. As HR Daily Advisor notes, costs are involved with the purchase, implementation, and setup of LMS, and it might be difficult to convince employees to use it — especially if it’s not required.

Blosser claims that 125-employee WorkRamp has over 300 customers, though, including Box, Reddit, Outreach, and Lattice. The company’s valuation tripled compared with 16 months ago and its total raised now stands at $67.2 million, which Blosser says will be put toward product development (specifically for onboarding and customer training), strategic investments to “help develop the larger enablement and learning community,” and hiring.

“Competing in today’s market has become increasingly challenging, and the pace of change shows no signs of slowing. Revenue targets and goals continue to go up, and organizations must meet their customers’ evolving needs,” Blosser said. “For the IT department, [WorkRamp] consolidates the number of tools that a company needs to manage, secure, and invest in … [And] for the C-Suite, WorkRamp allows teams to directly correlate learning to business results.”

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