California-headquartered upskilling platform Degreed has closed a $153 million Series D round led by Sapphire Ventures and Redwood Capital.
This new funding, which comes within nine months of a $32 million Series C, brings Degreed’s total funding to $335m and the company’s valuation to $.14bn, making it the latest HR tech unicorn.
Set up in 2012, Degreed was founded with the mission of jailbreaking the degree. It helps companies retain and reskill their employees, as well as supporting their career development in one platform.
Degreed has grown significantly over the past nine years from three to 600 employees across 13 countries, and it has added new capabilities to its learning experience platform. Degreed claims its platform is now used by one in three Fortune 500 companies.
Its core products include learning experience, career mobility, and skill analytics. Focused on its mission to “help business leaders understand the supply and demand for skills across their organizations and connect people’s skills to internal opportunities like projects, stretch assignments, and gig work,” wrote the head of global communications and client advocacy, Sarah Danzi, in a blog post.
What does the future look like for Degreed?
Degree’s headcount has grown by 50% and surpassed 500 people over the past year and the hiring drive will continue with the firm now looking to hire an additional 600 people in 2021.
In addition, “the investment will be used to fuel innovation and generate value for our clients by accelerating product development, enhancing data infrastructure, and continuing our global expansion as we pursue new, strategic acquisitions,” said Danzi.
Alongside the funding news, the company also announced that Chris McCarthy, the CEO, will be stepping down due to personal health reasons. He will, however, continue to serve on the company’s board.
McCarthy will be replaced as CEO by Dan Levin, former COO of another HR tech company called Box.
Levin said: “I am delighted to join the Degreed team.
“The workforce of the future will need to build and activate new skills on a continuous basis, and we are uniquely positioned to help them do just that.”
HR tech is hot right now
Degreed’s unicorn status comes within a week of talent experience-focused Phenom closing a $100 million Series D round and becoming an HR tech unicorn.
This was also hot on the heels of performance management system Lattice $60 million raise.
The first quarter of 2021 generally saw a flurry of VC activity in the HR tech sector. For instance, PayFit completed a $107 million Series D round, Glint raised $22.5 million in a Series C round, and Ginger closed a $110 million round.
The quarter also saw multiple large mergers and acquisitions in the HR tech space – examples include Workday’s acquisition of Peakon and Ceridian’s purchase of Ascender. 2021’s second quarter has also started off strong with isolved buying philanthropic platform Givful in mid-April.