Edtech Go1 turns unicorn with a massive $273 million series D led by SoftBank

- July 20, 2021 2 MIN READ
Andrew Barnes
Go1 CEO Andrew Barnes
Brisbane-based online corporate training marketplace Go1 is Australia’s newest unicorn startup after raising a whopping US$200 million (A$273m) series D.

Japanese investment powerhouse SoftBank’s Vision 2 fund led the round, announced less than a fortnight after it backed another Brisbane startup, Skedulo’s $100 million raise.

Others investors in the latest Go1 round include AirTree Ventures and Salesforce Ventures, Blue Cloud Ventures, Larsen Ventures, Scott Shleifer and John Curtius from Tiger Global, and Steve Baxter’s TEN13.

Previous investors including M12 – Microsoft’s venture fund – Madrona Venture Group, SEEK, and Y Combinator, also chipped in. The six-year-old company has now raised more than US$280m (A$382m) for a valuation of more than US$1 billion (A$1.36bn), making it a “unicorn” company.

One of the few rounds to beat Go1’s raise came earlier this year when Melbourne fintech Airwallex topped up its Series D round with an extra US$100 million (A$130m) for a total of US$300m on a $3.4 billion valuation.

In May last year Go1 landed a US$40 million in Series C led by SEEK and Madrona.

The company plans to use the funds to scale up its team and partnerships and sees expansion opportunities in the US and Europe. Its user base has grown by more than 300% in 12 months, and the business now generates more than 70% of its new revenue outside of Australia.

CEO Andrew Barnes said expanding in the US will allow the business to better support customers in the hybrid work era.

“As society transitions out of the pandemic, ensuring that employees have opportunities to explore learning and development resources will be essential for team retention and encouraging employee growth within the organisation,” he said.

“This latest round of funding will enable our team to not only expand internally with new global offices and job opportunities, but enables us to be hyper-focused on growing our user base and advancing our product features for our customers.”

SoftBank Investment Advisers managing partner Nagraj Kashyap said that Go1 was an emerging category leader in the same was Spotify is first-to-mind in music.

“Go1’s platform provides an intuitive experience, and creates an opportunity for individuals to expand their professional development goals and explore the resources to help achieve them,” he said.

“With premier education providers such as EdX, Coursera, Skillsoft, and Harvard as part of Go1’s subscription, organisations can curate learning content to fit the needs and interests of its workforce.”

SEEK co-founder Andrew Bassat said: “Our continued investment reflects our ongoing commitment to help Go1 achieve its potential to help people to up-skill and re-skill themselves for work, which will be critical as the world recovers from the global pandemic.”