Australia’s small coterie of tech unicorns has grown a little bigger, as they welcome a new member into their midst this week.
Following a bumper funding raise of $US200 million ($272 million), education startup Go1 is now valued at more than $1 billion just six years after it was founded in a Brisbane garage.
The funding round was among the country’s largest on record and was led by SoftBank (the Japanese conglomerate behind Uber), WeWork, Klarna, eToro and countless others.
It was joined by the venture capital arms of local investors AirTree and Salesforce, and international groups including Microsoft.
Operating as a kind of marketplace, Go1 links more than 3.5 million users to courses from 1,600 education providers.
From these separate producers, Go1 packages up content to create learning paths that users can then follow, from personal development and tech skills to business management.
The allure is clear. Rather than have to sign up and juggle various subscription deals, individuals and businesses can sign up to Go1’s service and find the content they’re looking for in one place.
It’s been helped along somewhat by the pandemic, which has seen the appetite for online learning explode and Go1 pocket $US40 million of new investment back in May.
The two rounds, making up the vast majority of Go1’s only external funding, will be used to fund its expansion overseas.
Outside of Australia, Go1 currently has offices in London, Malaysia, South Africa, Vietnam and the United States.
Amanda Price, the head of KPMG High Growth Ventures, said the recent string of deals indicates the strength of the local venture capital (VC) scene.
“In what was a globally tumultuous year, Australia’s startup investment environment remained robust. Many of our leading VC firms continued to raise record levels of funding from private and institutional sources,” Price said.
“Alongside later-stage rounds for well-established Australian startups like Canva, Go1 and Volt Bank – we are also seeing investment in new areas of technology such as plant-based foods – with v2food’s Series B one of the top five deals of 2020.”
“Each of these deals is more than just a number – it represents a dynamic business that is creating new jobs and fuelling the growth of Australia’s future economy.”