Credly today announced $11.1 million in new funding, with investors ZOMA Capital and the nonprofit Strada Education Network joining existing investors New Markets Venture Partners, University Ventures, Pearson, Lumina Foundation, and Lion Brothers Company in the round. This investment, which brings the total funding raised by Credly to $18.2 million, reflects acceleration in the use of digital credentials by major employers grappling with the challenge of attracting, developing, and retaining talent in a tight labor market. It also indicates a growing use of digital credentials by colleges and universities to help students translate educational experiences and accomplishments for the world of work.
“Digital credentials can create a common language to bridge skill and equity gaps between job seekers and employers, educational institutions and the labor market,” said analyst Josh Bersin. “A growing number of employees are using digital credentials to provide portable, transparent, and verified evidence of skills.”
Since Credly’s launch in 2012, the company has helped leading organizations recognize and verify the learning and skills today’s labor market values. Credly has seen an influx of employers incorporating digital credentials into mission-critical talent management strategies.
The announcement coincides with the one-year anniversary of Credly’s acquisition of the digital credential business Acclaim from Pearson, which also participated in this most recent round. The combination created the world’s largest network of professional credentials, and a thriving platform for pathways from learning to employment to career advancement.
“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 Jonathan Finkelstein, CEO of Credly. “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 is helping the world speak a common language about people’s knowledge, skills, and abilities. Thousands of employers, training organizations, associations, certification programs, and workforce development initiatives use Credly to help individuals translate their learning experiences into professional opportunities using trusted, portable, digital credentials. Credly empowers organizations to attract, engage, develop, and retain talent with enterprise-class tools that generate data-driven insights to address skills gaps and highlight opportunities through an unmatched global network of credential issuers. Unleash the workforce. https://credly.com
About Lion Brothers Company
Founded in Baltimore in 1899, Lion Brothers Company Inc. is a world leader in apparel identity and badging systems for leading global brands and organizations. Wherever one goes throughout a day, Lion’s products appear as identification on apparel and uniforms. From your favorite professional NFL, NBA, NHL, and Major League Baseball sports teams to brand identity for membership organizations including the Girl Scouts of the USA and Boy Scouts of America, Lion designs and produces apparel identity and badging systems that create community, reward achievement and communicate brand values. http://www.lionbrothers.com
About Lumina Foundation
Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. The foundation envisions a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation’s need for talent through a broad range of credentials. Lumina’s goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and for success in a global economy. https://www.luminafoundation.org/
About New Markets Venture Partners
New Markets Venture Partners is a venture capital firm that invests in and actively assists innovative education, information technology, and business services companies. The New Markets Team has decades of experience investing in and building high growth companies, maintains proprietary relationships with centers of innovation, and has particular domain expertise around technology and education. It prides itself on working to add value before, during, and after the investment process. http://www.newmarketsvp.com
Pearson is the world’s learning company operating in 70 countries around the world with more than 24,000 employees, providing a range of products and services that help people make progress in their lives through learning. https://www.pearson.com
About Strada Education Network
Strada Education Network® is a national nonprofit dedicated to improving lives by catalyzing more direct and promising pathways between education and employment. The Network engages partners across education, nonprofits, business, and government to focus relentlessly on students’ success throughout all phases of their working lives. Together, they address critical college to career challenges through strategic philanthropy, research and insights, and mission-aligned affiliates — all focused on advancing the universal right to realized potential called Completion With a Purpose®. http://www.stradaeducation.org/
About University Ventures
University Ventures (UV) is reimagining the future of higher education and creating new pathways from education to employment. UV portfolio companies are making higher education more affordable, pioneering entirely new approaches to learning, and helping employers think differently about how and where they discover talent. UV’s approach draws upon the values and traditions of higher education to play a sustainable role in transforming the path from education to a stronger economic future for students, universities, and employers. UV is led by principals with decades of experience as entrepreneurs, investors, authors, and leaders in higher education. http://www.universityventures.com
About ZOMA Capital
ZOMA Capital invests in a broad range of market-based sustainable solutions advancing energy, water, workforce development, and community economic development. Its global investment portfolio spans multiple asset classes and sectors with an emphasis on addressing environmental and social challenges. https://zomalab.com/ZOMA-capital/