Singapore: Gnowbe closes $1.7m seed round, partners KPMG Digital Village

Visual from Gnowbe Facebook page.

Silicon Valley- and Singapore-headquartered start-up Gnowbe, a portfolio company of the REAPRA Group, has raised a $1.7 million seed round to support its next growth phase. Seed investors include Coent Ventures, 500 Startups and POEMS Ventures, as well as angel investors such as Koh Boon Hwee and Kabam founder Holly Liu.

In the coming year, Gnowbe plans to raise additional funds to further scale the company. According to the company, less than a year after launching its enterprise platform, it has seen its user base grow at a rate of over 15 per cent monthly and the number of new programs created increased by 24 per cent monthly.

The funding will be used to augment Gnowbe’s current team of developers, sales and marketing professionals, as the company expands its product propositions and boosts the richness of its content, in tandem with its ongoing drive to extend its presence in the market and to forge strategic partnerships with key players in the industry. 

CEO and co-founder of Gnowbe, So-Young Kang, said, “Workforces around the world are rapidly transitioning to a ‘mobile-first’ mindset. This presents a tremendous opportunity for businesses to empower employees through knowledge. Gnowbe already has a head start in delivering mobile-first, microlearning solutions, and we hope to further consolidate our first mover advantage to build upon our brand awareness.”

With players such as EdX and Coursera in the market, Kang said her portal had a slew of USPs that made it different: “We are quite different in that we provide 1) platform for learn-by-doing, 2) bite-sized, micro-learning and 3) simple authoring tools for quick content creation. Learn-by-doing means that our content builds on great videos and articles to encourage learners to not only learn but to think, apply and share their knowledge. We are an experiential learning platform. We are pushing the boundaries of bite-sized, action-based learning.”

She added, “Our current focus is on global and local enterprises in Singapore and Hong Kong so we are seeing the greatest traction here. However, we have clients globally including US, Spain, and across the Asian region.”

Asked about her exit plans, Kang told DEALSTREETASIA he was most likely to exit via an acquisition by a larger player, which could include a large recruiting/career company.

She cited the LinkedIn acquisition of Lynda.com for $1.5 billion,  as well as a potential buyout by a publishing company looking to invest in future of content consumption or a large digital player that recognised the value of employee education.

In addition to the funding, Gnowbe has partnered KPMG Digital Village in Singapore, a collaborative ecosystem of corporates, startups, investors and government bodies to drive the adoption and integration of innovative solutions. It will operate as its digital learning partner for their clients.

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