Miami — Ubits, the Y Combinator-backed corporate training platform from Colombia, announced today that it has closed a $25 million Series B round of funding. The round was led by Riverwood Capital, with participation from Owl Ventures, a prestigious edtech fund based in California, in addition to Endeavor Catalyst, Roble Ventures, Salkantay and Amador Holdings.
The company is now headquartered in both Colombia and Mexico and offers more than 750 online courses to help employees upskill and reskill. Ubits partners with local experts to create its bite-sized courses and live classes designed to accelerate talent across organizations through a platform that personalizes the learning experience. HR and business leaders are provided with tools to analyze KPIs and customize their employees’ learning journey.
This is a typical offering that we see from edtech companies around the world, because the options for education have traditionally been limited to college or brick and mortar training classes. Like healthtech, edtech has been an area of very slow development, but also like healthtech, the sector has made incredible strides since the pandemic hit, as more people are looking for ways to learn from the comfort of their home.
“There’s a huge skills gap in Latin America and people don’t have the money for high-end education,” said Julián Melo, co-founder and CEO of Ubits. The company also prides itself in offering resources and a plan for people who want to make a career change such as from human resources to finance.
For now, Ubits has created career pathways and offers a self paced model, but it is also launching pilot programs with virtual tutors and live online classes.
Ubits was founded in Colombia by Julián Melo and Marta Ferero in 2015, but the founders pivoted to the current model in 2018. The company has raised a total of $35 million, has 267 full-time employees and more than 100,000 active users in Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Central America.
The company will use the money from this round to expand to Spain and then to the Spanish-speaking population in the U.S. The capital will also be deployed to build more than 2000 additional courses, and launch the live tutors program.
Ubits’ 2.5x year over year growth only confirms that reskilling and upskilling are valuable offerings in Latin America. So much so that we see competitors in the space such as Aprende Institute (which we wrote about here), as well as Crehana which raised a $70 million round led by General Atlantic last year.
Ubits makes money through a subscription model. It sells its product to HR departments who then offer a yearly subscription to their employees.
As of 2018, the gross enrolment rate in higher education in Latin America is just over 50% according to UNESCO. Over the past two decades, enrollment in higher education significantly expanded in Latin America and the private sector has contributed to this expansion according to the World Bank.
Edtech investments increased by 146% in 2020, according to a report by the Association for Private Capital Investment in Latin America (LAVCA) and there are no signs of it slowing down.