Amsterdam-based scaleup Lepaya has announced the acquisition of Smartenup, a training company that supports professionals to work better, faster, and smarter with data. The amount of the acquisition remains undisclosed.
This development will help Lepaya strengthen its position in the training market by combining analytical skills with soft-skills.
How will this acquisition help Lepaya?
Both companies have experienced growth since the outbreak of the Coronavirus and are responding to the demand for innovative training methods.
With this acquisition, Lepaya aims to strengthen its position in the training market by combining analytical skills with soft-skills. In an exclusive conversation with Silicon Canals, René Janssen, MD and co-founder of Lepaya says, “Lepaya aims to offer the full breadth of 21st-century skills & skills of the future. Lepaya already offered the full set of soft skills, and with the acquisition of Smartenup we can now offer also skills like Data Literacy, Problem Solving, Analytics (Excel, PowerBI, etc) In this way, we can end-to-end support our clients looks for modern players to ensure their workforce has future-proof skills.”
Talking about the future of Smartenup, Janssen says, “Smartenup will be integrated in (the) Lepaya (offering). The “blended” training approach is very similar, and our clients are looking for an end-to-end solution, which is one of the reasons we moved from the partnership we had to a full acquisition so we can serve clients fully end-to-end.”
Lepaya was founded in 2018 by Janssen and Peter Kuperus, who, based on their experiences in both the corporate world and the scaleup scene, saw a need for training courses that change behaviour in a sustainable manner.
The company is a provider of soft skill training that combines both online and offline learning.
After a recent investment round of €5M, Lepaya has executed this acquisition independently.
Lepaya focuses on markets including the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany, and serves its customers globally, including in the US and Spain.
Lepaya raised €5M
In June 2020, the company had raised €5M funding from Media group Mediahuis. According to Janssen, the funding helped the company from three angles:
- Accelerate commercial activities in the Netherlands and abroad
- Broaden the catalogue: both in-house and for instance due to this acquisition
- Accelerate the technical platform, mostly around personalisation & learning in the flow of works
“We are currently piloting our machine learning engine that ensures that type and level of content are based on our engine adjusted to the level of the individual learner, based on learning preferences and where the person stands; and to ensure that the learning is available exactly when and where the user needs it: real-time, for instance in MS Teams,” he says.
The recent pandemic has proved to be helpful for the Dutch scaleup. According to Janssen, the company growing faster than the (aggressive) business plan it had put in place before the corona outbreak. “In essence, we see that our clients are moving faster towards more modern (blended) training solutions – and see them realise that some of the more traditional players are moving offline training online, which has a lesser experience/impact vs. rethinking how to optimally make use of technology to train. With this, we also see an accelerated inflow of new clients looking for more modern/impactful solutions.”
The company also expects to witness 3X growth in the current financial year in comparison to 2019; and that the current plans are similar for 2021.
Currently, Lepaya employs about 60 people (excluding its global extended trainer pool). “We expect to continue to grow this team, on our three pillars: commercially (both in The Netherlands and abroad), as well as tech & content development. We expect to grow towards 100 people by the end of next year, which should underpin the 3x anticipated growth.”
Last month, the company launched its local presence in Germany, and plans to open up an office in Stockholm early next year.
The company was founded in 2013 by Eric Haase and Kees van der Meeren, Smartenup’s mission is to motivate people to improve their data literacy and analytical skills.
The company distinguishes itself by energetic, relevant learning paths regarding data, compared to often traditional players who see data as an IT component. It receives better feedback from customers due to its refreshing approach, relevant content, and energetic trainers.
“As a professional of the future, you need both soft-skills and hard-skills. We are really good at hard-skills, Lepaya at soft-skills. We work almost identically, with a combination of trainer-led training courses and self-study via intuitive technology, both receive good customer feedback, serve comparable customers, and are planning to develop similar training courses,” explains Eric Haase, co-founder of Smartenup.
Image credit: Lepaya