OpenSesame grabs $8 mln in Series A funds

OpenSesame has closed $8 million in Series A funding. Partech Ventures led the round. In conjunction with the funding, Nicolas El Baze, general partner at Partech Ventures, joins OpenSesame’s board. Based in Portland, Oregon, OpenSesame is a provider of online training courses.


Portland, OR (January 13, 2014) – OpenSesame, the world’s largest source of online training courses, announced it has raised $8 million in a Series A funding round led by Partech Ventures.
“The radically shifting nature of work means a larger number of businesses are looking for online training to reduce costs and stay competitive,” said OpenSesame’s CEO, Don Spear. “This round of funding allows OpenSesame to accelerate the expansion of our revolutionary marketplace to meet the rapidly growing demand for online training.”
Just as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have expanded higher education delivery models, OpenSesame is fundamentally changing the way online workplace training is purchased and delivered. As the world’s largest source of online courses dedicated to employee, compliance, and business training, organizations benefit from OpenSesame’s large course catalog at a cost far lower than in­person training. Individual employees and freelancers can add new skills and certifications, improving their professional value and helping to advance their careers. Additionally, OpenSesame reduces the time from identified need to training solution, with courses that are available instantly online, through email, or in any learning management system.
Lead investor Partech Ventures brings operational experience and international connections to OpenSesame, two assets important to the team. Nicolas El Baze, General Partner at Partech Ventures, will join the OpenSesame board. “In looking for an investor, we wanted someone who had experience with our business model and shared our vision,“ said Spear. “We immediately clicked with Nicolas, who had 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur and CEO prior to becoming a VC.”
“We’ve seen the incredible potential of marketplace models like that of OpenSesame to meet the needs of the corporate buyer,” said El Baze. “With their innovative marketplace and variety of course categories, we feel OpenSesame is well positioned to fill the gap that currently exists in the corporate training space—quick access to quality courses.”
About OpenSesame
Based in Portland, Oregon, OpenSesame is the world’s largest source for elearning courses focused on employee training. Buyers browse online training courses in a wide variety of subjects from workplace safety to business skills then purchase and start the courses instantly via their browser, by email, or delivered through any learning management system. For more information, visit or follow @OpenSesame on Twitter.
About Partech Ventures
Partech Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm based in San Francisco, Paris and Berlin. Started in 1982, Partech is a partnership with $650 million under active management. Its mission is to help outstanding entrepreneurs to succeed in a global economy. The firm looks for companies with a substantial technology or innovation leverage in internet and information technology.
Partech manages seed and venture funds, allowing the firm to invest from $250,000 to $12 million in the early institutional rounds of high growth companies. This investment strategy has been successfully applied for over 30 years and a large number of portfolio companies have successfully executed IPO’s or have been acquired by strategic players, including: Akimbi Systems (VMW), Alvarion (ALVR), Apsylog (PRGN), Ascend Communications (ASND), Brands4Friends (EBAY), Buongiorno (BNG.MI), Business Objects (BOBJ), Cadence Design (CDNS), Cartesis (SAP), DailyMotion (ORANGE), DCT (SYMC), DiBcom (PARROT), Digital Island (ISLD), Digitick (VIVENDI), Fluxus (BT), Informatica (INFA), Inquira (ORCL), Invensense (INVN), ISDnet (CW), Jobpartners (TALEO), Jungo (NNDS), Meiosys (IBM), Pentasafe (NTIQ), Q­layer (ORCL), Quinstreet (QNST), Qype (YELP), Teknovus (BRCM), Verifone (PAY), Vignette (VIGN) et Visicu (EICU).
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