Danish company LMS 365, an online learning management system (LMS) developed for use in Microsoft products, has raised $20 million in institutional seed funding.
Used by companies including logistics giant Hellman’s and soda bottling franchisee G&J Pepsi, LMS365 lets users create their own courses from scratch or import them from third parties like Go1 or LinkedIn Learning, which LMS365 announced a partnership with just last month.
Embedding a learning management system directly into employees’ primary day-to-day tools is one of LMS 365’s main selling points compared to incumbents in the LMS space such as Workday, Eloomi, or TalentLMS.
“LMS365 does not create a technology problem, but meets the experts where they are,” CEO Rasmus Holst explained to TechCrunch.
Under the hood
With LMS365’s Course Creator and Learning Module Builder, users can drag and drop elements from Microsoft Office software, including PowerPoint, Word and Stream. Or you can import pre-existing courses or quizzes developed elsewhere and stored in SCORM or AICC formatIt can be useful for general industry-specific training for cyber security, or regulatory compliance.
From an end-user perspective, all this means is that new hires can be onboarded directly through Microsoft Teams or receive ongoing training in everything from customer service to mental health management.
Administrators can track student progress and present relevant information through Microsoft Power BI visualizations.
The story so far
History of LMS 365 In 2003, dentist Bjarne Mortensen founded a company called LearningForce, which initially focused on Microsoft Sharepoint. Over the years, Elearningforce has evolved into a cloud-based product with support for Teams and Microsoft 365, and recently introduced support for Viva, Microsoft’s “employee experience and engagement” platform.
Mortensen in 2011. He retired in 2018 and sold the founders of the Danish bakery chain Ole & Steen to entrepreneur Johan Wedel-Wedelsborg and Ole Christoffersen and Steen Skalebeek. Holst joined LMS365 last year from secure messaging company Wire, where he previously served as chief revenue officer.
While the corporate name is technically ELearningford, the company switched to the LMS365 brand in 2015 to reflect its focus on Microsoft.
But why focus on delivering training to Microsoft and not Zoom or Google’s cloud-based software suite? According to Holst, it all boils down to potential market size, not to mention Microsoft’s vast suite of software for hosting, communication/collaboration and big data insights.
“is it [Microsoft software] A global and consistent market of 350 million users – so our platform is easily accessible and housed in an app used by millions every day. “Also, Microsoft b [whole] Business — LMS365 uses Azure to host, teams to deliver their applications, VIVA to recommend courses, and Power BI for data mining.
Additionally, by focusing on Microsoft, this reduces the risks associated with trying to support too many software ecosystems. This was arguably more of an issue for a business that grew organically without institutional funding.
“To technically build LMS365 on other platforms and expose ourselves to technical debt is not a tradeoff for us as a Bootstrap business,” Holst said.
More than half of LMS 365 users are based in the US, nearly a third are in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and the rest are spread across the rest of the world.
“Typical customers are SMEs with 200 to 1,000 users,” Holst said. “Our main markets (about 80%) are service industry, logistics, manufacturing, automotive, healthcare and government.”
LMS 365’s first foreign investment was led by New York-based Blue Cloud Ventures, with participation from Singapore’s Comet Capital and existing shareholders. The company said it plans to use the new cash injection to double its global growth by acquiring distribution partners in the US, Germany and Australia.
“We see a clear window of opportunity in the market,” said LMS 365 chief strategy officer Henrik Jeberg in a statement. “We will use M&A strategically in the future, even in relation to product development.”