Bringing Delightful L&D Experiences to SMBs: Our Investment in Simbel
Building a company is not an easy feat. It’s a complex interplay of uniting a team behind a shared vision or strategy and putting the right organizational structure in place to ensure successful delivery on this strategy.
In today’s rapidly changing working environment—highlighted by the expectation that automation may displace 85 million jobs by 2025—companies need to frequently adjust how they work together and what specifically they are working on. As a result, many roles of employees in companies are constantly evolving, and so are the skills needed to perform them.
While some employees might benefit from specific on-the-job or functional training, others, such as new managers, might need more support with coaching team members or providing feedback. As a result, HR teams typically have a myriad of Learning and Development (L&D) activities to cover in order to provide their colleagues with a comprehensive L&D experience. That’s where Simbel comes in, an HR solution to meet the L&D needs of your team.
SMBs — the forgotten category
The main challenge small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) face is that their HR teams have neither the tools nor the manpower to provide a seamless L&D experience to their workforce.
While HR teams are supposed to inspire teams, create learning rituals, organize internal and external learning sessions, and track L&D impact and budget, the reality in SMBs is that one or two people have to manage all of these activities. More importantly, L&D is usually not the only focus for these employees. They are typically also tasked with other important business needs, such as recruiting, performance reviews, and on- and off-boarding employees.
As a result, SMBs struggle to effectively build out a delightful L&D experience. This includes collecting heterogenous learning needs, finding and providing the relevant L&D options, managing budget, and tracking performance.
Streamline your L&D with Simbel
This is where Paris-based Simbel comes into play. In order to truly embed company L&D into the broader organizational framework, Simbel is integrated with most of the HR stack and uses periodic performance reviews as a starting point for identifying individual learning and development needs. These needs can be easily collected and matched with the most relevant training options via the Simbel platform.
Simbel allows HR teams to centralize the most relevant L&D resources––content, training, providers––for their organization and supercharge them with Simbel-vetted L&D options. It offers flexibility on how the organization wants to empower their teams (dedicated paths, training upon request, or autonomous learning stipends), and saves both HR staff as well as individual employees a lot of time. Relying on Simbel provides companies with a bird’s eye view on their company’s L&D experience as well as the measurable impacts of the L&D strategy.
With their offering, Simbel provides a true L&D out-of-the-box solution for SMBs. Companies like Roland Berger, BlaBlaCar and Quartus are amongst the customers using Simbel to streamline their employees L&D experience with many other companies on the waiting list.
Following a great market opportunity
Needless to say, these early customers validated our excitement in partnering with Simbel. However, when looking at the broader market opportunity, it became clear that the company is operating under extremely favorable market conditions:
- Global corporate spending on L&D amounts to approximately $360 billion of which an average of 26 percent is spent on external (i.e. outsourced) suppliers, ensuring a huge, addressable market for Simbel
- On a per employee basis, this translates into $1,308 spent per employee on learning and development per year with the clear need for a personalized offering
- Research by McKinsey has identified that technology platforms and applications are the most important enablers for future learning as modern organizations lack the tools to effectively offer employees this personalized experience
By targeting the historically underserved SMB segment of companies with 50–1,000 employees, Simbel addresses a huge market opportunity of more than 200,000 companies in Europe alone.
Backing an outstanding team
With this in mind, we are delighted to announce our investment in Simbel. We’re looking forward to working closely together with this incredibly talented team.
Co-founder and CEO Loïc Jourdain brings significant marketplace experience. He ran business operations at Stootie—a marketplace for services in France, which got acquired by Cdiscount in 2018—and was responsible for Special Projects at Side, which recently exited to Randstad.
His co-founder, Charles Gras, spent four years as a strategy consultant at Roland Berger before joining 360Learning as their Global Product Marketing Director. In his last role, he gained a ton of experience building L&D solutions for SMBs and corporates and is now bringing all of these insights with him to Simbel.
We are extremely grateful to join Loïc and Charles on the Simbel journey. Together with our co-investors Brighteye Ventures and amazing business angels, we will support Simbel on their mission to provide SMBs with a delightful L&D experience.
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