Sunlight, a new learning and development platform created to support the demands of scaling businesses looking to develop the talent within their teams, has today announced the close of a €570,000 seed round. The London-based startup now counts Speedinvest, Seedcamp and Annection among its investors.
Founded in 2016 by brothers Carlos and Juan Lagrange, Sunlight enables employers to create an engaging learning culture at work by empowering their staff to take ownership of their professional development. Through the platform employers can control how much each team member is allowed to spend across the year, approve requests from their employees on everything from books to courses and events, and only get charged for what they use, in one monthly invoice. Through its work with existing clients, Sunlight has seen that it improves learning engagement by 34% – which is 22% above the industry average.
In addition to helping solve learning and development issues in growing businesses, Sunlight is able to use data from the platform to spot trends, suggest new courses, and even flag when someone is looking at learning tools outside of their current job description. Allowing HR to quickly see how they can best support an individual, where someone may be at risk of wanting to leave and less willing to talk openly about what they want from a role. Enabling HR to truly support the workforce in multiple different ways.
Carlos Lagrange, CEO and Co-Founder of Sunlight, commented: “Our mission is to unlock the world’s potential. Learning opportunities are quickly becoming a key driver for the new generation entering the working world and we know that within the tech industry, scale-ups need to find ways to stand out and attract talent when competing against goliaths. Offering opportunities to learn is a great way to attract and retain talented individuals within your business, as you grow. Sunlight makes this easier for everyone and democratises the old system many companies currently use.”
Since the company started, it focused predominantly on the tech industry in order to fix a need they have seen from startups trying to compete against the likes of Apple, Google and Facebook. The seed round will be used to help power further expansion into new territories and sectors, as well as growth of the Sunlight team.
Carlos, added: “This seed round is a key moment for us as we look to work with even more exciting companies and scale up the size of teams that the platform can support. We’ve been supported by an incredible list of investors and believe their expertise and connections will play a big role in the future 18 months of Sunlight’s journey.”
The current funding round brings the team’s total funds raised to €686K, including prior investment from Seedcamp and Annection, who have reinvested, Techstars and a previous loan from Virgin Startup. In addition, they now count Speedinvest as a key investor with strong links to the US to aid expansion, and angel investors such as Charles Wiles and X.
Erik Bovee, Partner of Speedinvest, commented: “The team is stellar, and they have built a platform that is perfectly suited to the learning and development needs of high growth, new companies. It’s particularly relevant in the US market, where competition for top talent is fierce and employee training is a key part of retention. We are rolling Sunlight out to our own portfolio companies immediately, and look forward to supporting their growth, particularly in the US.”
Sia Houchagnia, from Seedcamp’s investment team, added: “We see huge potential for Sunlight to grow as they develop their platform offering and are able to leverage the data they collect to recommend optimised learning paths to employees.”
In addition to focusing on growth, the team will be working to make the Sunlight offering even easier for all different sizes of company to roll out across their teams. Current features of the platform, include:
- Playlists: Staff can benefit from curated lists of books, courses and any type of learning resources, created by people inside their company or the Sunlight community.
- Spending Rules: Control how the budget can be spent per group, defining rules and approval flows for price limits, types of learning resources and more.
- Learning Concierge: Order anything outside of the Sunlight marketplace or ask for recommendations through its friendly concierge. It’s manned by Sunlight’s friendly L&D staff and its own chatbot called Ace.
- Integrations: Benefit from a growing list of third party HR platforms and tools. Use Slack to keep an eye on everything that goes on, or create a conversation around what people are learning.
Current customers of the Sunlight platform include Wonderbly, Skimlinks, TypeForm, Performance Horizon Group and The Girl Effect. Check out the video below to learn why Skimlinks founder and CEO Alicia Navarro chose Sunlight to help her team evolve and grow.