F.Y.I.

Martech educator Academy Xi raises $3m, plans Asia expansion

Digital skills college Academy Xi has raised $3m ahead of pushing into Asia, the company has revealed.

The announcement:

Mar-tech educator Academy Xi raises $3m, plans Asia expansion

Leading tech-focused education provider Academy Xi has raised $3 million in a round led by impact investment firm Pangaea Impact Investments, Alium Capital and Giant Leap Fund, supported by local Singaporean investors.

As part of the deal, successful serial education entrepreneur Anthony Böhm has also been appointed Academy Xi Chair of the Board. Böhm co-founded and exited Australia’s largest private online education provider Open Colleges, and Think: Education Group, with a combined value of over $300M.

The funds will be used to grow their online product offering, extend corporate partnerships and support their expansion into Singapore in 2019.

“This raise marks a turning point for Academy Xi” said Academy Xi CEO and Co-founder Ben Wong.

“In a world where new technologies are being rolled out every day, our goal is to ensure no-one gets left behind and no company disappears overnight due to disruption.”

“The risk of this is real. Deloitte predicts that technology will make 40 percent of the Australian workforce redundant by 2025. It’s up to employers and employees to ensure they stay ahead of change and keep their skills up-to-date.

We’ve partnered with funds and executives who can help us realise our vision of using cutting-edge education and training to change the world for the better and keep us harnessing technology rather than becoming victims of it,” said Wong.

“We’re creating a community, a career life-time learning hub, where everyone, regardless of experience can be empowered with the skills and supported by the industry at each level of their professional journey,” said CXO and Co-founder Charbel Zeaiter.

Investor quotes:

Will Richardson, managing director at Giant Leap Fund said: “We were drawn to Academy Xi by their mission for positive change, but invested because this is a company set to capitalise on the need for retraining and ongoing training in staff. They embody our mantra that social good and scalable business aren’t mutually exclusive, and in fact deliver greater return for investors.”

“We’re also looking forward to supporting Academy Xi on its journey. It’s no longer good enough to just invest and hope for the best. We’ve helped other portfolio companies secure further investment and even win large corporate clients. We will do whatever we can to help Academy Xi meet its goals,”

Rajeev Gupta, Partner at Alium Capital said:
“The Academy Xi value proposition has global opportunities and has already successfully built strong capability in the enterprise and consumer markets for education and training. The vision, passion and commercial prospects make the company a powerful contender to make an impact amongst start-up, corporate and wider organisational entities.”

Anthony Böhm, Founding Partner of Pangaea Impact Investments, said:
“We passionately believe Academy Xi’s industry-led approach to learning and skills is equipping both individuals and companies with the capabilities they need to succeed in a rapidly changing digital environment. Importantly, the human centred design principles which are embedded within Academy Xi’s courses have significant benefits to a diverse range of organisations, from digital start-ups to large public sector organisations. I am delighted to be joining the Board and working with Ben, Charbel and the Academy Xi team to scale their social impact and deliver strong financial performance.”

About Academy Xi

Since its launch in 2016, Academy Xi has trained over 3,400 people and educated over 30,000 people through events and classes. With campuses in Sydney and Melbourne, Academy Xi currently delivers full-time and part-time courses in User Experience, Customer Experience, Service Design, Digital Growth Marketing, Data Analytics, Product Management and Blockchain Product Design.

Academy Xi has almost tripled its business each year on the back of corporate partnerships to retrain and upskill staff. Academy Xi’s current major corporate clients include: Xero, Telstra Foundation and the Department of Jobs.

Academy Xi has also grown on the back of retraining professionals in light of a wave of corporate redundancies. On average, 95 percent of active job seekers who take on its full-time programs find a new role within 90 days. On the back of this data, Academy Xi introduced a guarantee, providing for $5,000 in additional training if the job seeker does not secure a job in 90 days.

From an Academy Xi media release

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