Financial industry professional development platform Nuggets Academy has raised $700,000 in a round led by Antler Australia.
The edtech, which deals with the mandatory Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training people are required to undertake annually, emerged out of the Antler program last year with its initial pre-seed funding from the accelerator and VC.
Also backing this round were LaunchVic’s Alice Anderson Fund for female founders and a consortium of angel investors who are also Nuggets customers.
The funding will see Nuggets scale its live events, invest in product development and customer acquisition. The team also plans to focus on automating CPD capturing and reporting for the accounting industry.
Cofounder Joyce Ong is a former Australian Tax Office national tax governance lead for private wealth, with decades of experience in tax working with the Big 4 accounting firms and knows well the pain of what she calls “death by PowerPoint” and the “tedious box-ticking exercise” of finance professionals education.
“After a decade and a half of excruciating training, I got sick of complaining and decided to fix the problem myself. I quit my steady job to build a solution in the middle of COVID lockdown,” she said.
“We believe real change starts with people. We’ve opened our doors wide for industry experts to teach alongside us, and share our revenue with them. This unique model allows us to grow rapidly, while maintaining a high standard of content and engagement in our live events.”
Ong said the fact that their customers supported the raise was a strong sign of market validation.
Her cofounder, Ross Lin, brings his technological and product expertise to Nuggets Academy, having previously founded Jayride, which he took to an ASX listing.
“Our vision is to be the go-to live learning platform for finance professionals,” he said.
“So far, we’ve found product-market fit within the finance edtech space; and have clear know-how to scale this thanks to our strong founding team.”
Nuggets Academy already has more than 1,000 paid subscribers including employees of Big 4 firms and the ATO, and has partnered with leading accounting tech companies such as the Access Group and BGL.
In just over a year, they’ve grown to an ARR of $700,000 with more than 6,000 finance professionals attending their live learning events in a year.
Antler partner Cath Rogers said the Nuggets Academy product is innovative and the team has developed a very clear value proposition.
“On top of that, the finance CPD market is estimated to be $20+ billion in western English-speaking countries alone with online learning growing at a rapid rate of 14.6% per annum,” she said.
“The team’s early achievements, including organic growth and minimal churn, are solid signals of their journey towards establishing a formidable platform-driven business. We believe Nuggets Academy has the potential to scale exponentially.”
David Boca, a sole practitioner accountant, who led an informal syndicate of 8 accountants investing $110,000 in Nuggets Academy, said “it was a breath of fresh air” when he “stumbled” upon Nuggets Academy as a customer
“CPD for accountants is stale and ripe for disruption,” he said
“So when I heard they were raising, I was keen to learn more and was impressed by their highly scalable business model and traction – growing their recurring revenue 3x within 12 months of their first raise.”