Simbel, a Paris-based education technology startup, has recently raised €4 million in a seed round to help small and medium-sized businesses adapt to a rapidly changing world.
The round was led by Speedinvest and EdTech-focused investor Brighteye. eFounders co-founder Thibaud Elziere, Figures co-founder Virgile Ringeart, Stupeflix co-founder Nicolas Steegmann, and Prestashop co-founder Alexandre Eruimy, have also participated in the fundraise.
With the new fundraising, the company plans to accelerate its product development. It aims to build the easiest solution for organizations to promote the right learning content at the right time, based on the marketplace data and the organization’s own HR data.
Founded by Loïc Jourdain and Charles Gras in 2021, Simbel provides a SaaS enabled marketplace for learning and development (L&D) to keep staff’s knowledge and skills fresh and relevant to their employer’s evolving needs. Businesses’ own materials can be combined with more than 500 pieces of content and courses from top training providers, available directly through its integrated marketplace.
Speaking about the company, Co-founder & CEO of Simbel, Loïc Jourdain, said:
HR teams are supposed to inspire teams, create learning rituals, organize internal and external learning sessions, and oversee learning and development. But the reality is that SMBs typically only have one or two people to manage all these activities and still run their L&D on Excel sheets.
The platform integrates with SMBs’ existing HR stack and uses periodic performance reviews as a starting point for identifying individual learning and development needs. It makes learning and development simple to deliver, allowing SMBs to benefit from the most up-to-date training from the best providers, while helping HR teams streamline all their L&D ops and measure the impact of the training.
Adding further about the platform, Co-founder of Simbel, Charles Gras, said:
“As a manager, Loic was spending more and more time identifying L&D needs such as annual reviews, performance reviews, and 360 feedback. But he lacked a tool to implement an L&D action plan, and while working at education platform 360Learning, I’d noticed that most L&D solutions were silos, when SMBs need a simple, all-in-one solution.”
The startup has developed its offering in partnership with its first clients, including Blablacar and Roland Berger, while in beta. It has now announced the launch of partnerships with the best HR and talent development software platforms for SMBs.
Partner, Speedinvest, Jeroen Arts, added:
To stay competitive in today’s rapidly changing working environment, companies must make sure their employees have the up-to-date skills needed to perform their jobs well. It’s a massive task for any size organization and even more difficult for resource-strapped SMBs. Simbel’s commitment to these historically underserved businesses is making it possible for some 200,000 SMBs in Europe alone to now offer employees world-class learning & development at scale.
Speedinvest is an early-stage venture capital firm with more than €600 million in assets under management and 40 investors based in Berlin, London, Munich, Paris, and Vienna. Brighteye Ventures is a leading European EdTech venture capital fund. Leveraging deep experience and relationships in tech, education, media, and VC.
David Guérin, Principal, Brighteye, also commented on the latest development, saying:
We were immediately convinced by Loïc and Charles, who are methodical, determined and deeply knowledgeable founders. They have unique insights into the untapped L&D space for SMBs and have been able to build a product that delivers the fastest, cheapest and easiest way for employees to access curated and best-in-class training providers. Their vision resonated with us and we believe that Simbel can become the L&D standard for SMBs.
The founders of Simbel believe that the HR stack of tomorrow will be built upon the solutions that maximize employee development and performance.