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Looking to revolutionize business and personal education, EdCast raises $16 million

TechCrunch TechCrunch 13/04/2016 Jonathan Shieber

EdCast, the online and mobile platform for distributing educational content from a network of industry experts, has raised $16 million in its latest round of funding.

Led by G.E. Asset Management, an investment arm of one of EdCast’s existing customers, the new round will be used to expand the company’s sales and marketing efforts and continue product development.

The company, helmed by serial entrepreneur Karl Mehta, has two tracks.

One is a consumer focused bid for lifetime learning based on mobile access to the company’s bite-sized, user generated content.

The other is a curated content feed, selected using both human expertise and precise algorithms based on customer data, that the company distributes to subscribers in businesses around the world.

At least one division of G.E., whose asset management business unit led the current $16 million round, is a customer.

“We bring [businesses] relevant curated knowledge and insights as micro-learning every day,” says Mehta.

The company has a “few hundred” customers, according to Mehta, who are paying a subscription for the service.

Relevant educational materials are delivered to employees of companies that subscribe to the service on a regular basis in a model that’s very much like a daily briefing, according to Mehta.

“Imagine that President Obama gets his briefing every morning at the breakfast table,” Mehta says. “This is similar. If you’re an executive or an employee at a company, we bring you relevant, curated information.”

On its consumer and enterprise channels EdCast now has close to 1 million users that are accessing the company’s educational content every day, according to Mehta. And the company has partnerships with leading universities to provide mobile access to some of the best professors in the world who are providing lessons culled from their own classes.

So far, the company has seen the most success on the enterprise front, according to Mehta, where the user base is growing at double-digits month-over-month.

Currently, EdCast offers its business education service to companies in IT services, consulting, healthcare and manufacturing, but it intends to expand into telecommunications, consumer media, banking and financial services, and retail in the coming months, according to Mehta.

The company has found the best traction with some of a company’s newest employees according to Mehta.

“In the enterprise probably 80% of our users are millennials,” he says. “They like the short bite-sizes that matches with their short attention span. Millennials are used to learning from outside influencers rather than expecting the companies to train them.”

Founded as Stanford StartX Company to empower people to get smarter about their business and in their private life, EdCast has raised money in the past from Penta Global, SoftBank Capital and Cervin Ventures. In total, the company has raised $22 million to pursue its vision to provide educational tools for lifelong learning.

“We are excited about EdCast’s vision, innovation, and the disruptive power of its technology in enterprise knowledge discovery, sharing  and learning,”, said Carlos Monfiglio, partner at GE Asset Management in a statement. “The list of Fortune 500 companies using EdCast is impressive and we believe the company is on its way to defining and leading a new category in enterprise knowledge and intelligence.”

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