The world of online courses and e-learning has grown beyond most predictions in the last few years.
One of the most talked about solutions for creating interactive online courses is LearnWorlds which has received excellent customer satisfaction reviews.
But who owns LearnWorlds, and how did they come to be? We take a look at what LearnWorlds is all about, who founded it, and who now owns the company. (See also ‘Learnworlds Review‘)
We will also look at the kind of people who are most likely to use LearnWorlds products.
What Is LearnWorlds?
LearnWorlds is an online training platform for businesses and individuals.
It is a fully customizable white-label solution for educators and enterprises to create, market, and sell self-paced online educational courses.
The e-learning platform is cloud-based and has a number of features that are unique to it such as an interactive video editor, and automatic video transcripts.
It is among the best all-in-one online course platforms that allow users to create an e-learning website and write online courses.
LearnWorlds also supplies the necessary tools for marketing and selling online courses as business-to-customer or business-to-business products.
You don’t need any programming skills to build your website on the LearnWorlds platform as they provide templates for you. These can simply be customized to suit your needs.
You can also start small to begin with and scale up as your needs and business grows.
The development of LearnWorlds was designed to simplify the way e-learning courses are created, marketed, and sold.
It means that anyone can use the platform to create their own training courses which they can then use the marketing tools to sell.
LearnWords is one of the top All-In-One LMS.
Making creating, selling or marketing online courses easy for all levels.
Creators can use video, audio, still images, interactive videos, and even e-books, exams, and course assignments.
They can sell the course using promotions, coupons, built-in SEO, or memberships and there are multiple options for payment gateways including Stripe, PayPal, and Shopify.
The company places a huge emphasis on the experience of the learner as they understand that it is what leads to learner satisfaction and lasting connections with the instructor.
This is why they have made the platform completely customizable and scalable.
Who Founded LearnWorlds?
LearnWorlds was founded in 2014 by Fanis Despotakis, George Palegeorgiou, Panos Siozos in Greece.
The three founders met at university in Greece, all of them studying computer science followed by postgraduate studies in education technology.
Panos Siozos is the CEO of the company and holds a Ph.D. in education technology while George Palaigeorgiou is an award-winning academic in that field.
This makes LearnWorlds the only e-learning course platform that has research-based roots and a data-driven approach.
Panos Siozos got his BSc as well as his Ph.D. from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in computer science.
He has worked extensively as a software engineer, IT manager, and computer science educator. Siozos also took part in a lot of EU-funded research projects.
He has worked as a policy advisor for innovation and research issues at the European Parliament notably from 2009 to 2014.
The areas he is most interested in are computer-assisted assessment, computer ethics, innovation privacy, online educational environments, and ICT.
Siozos’s specialties are educational technology, web programming, research policy, innovation policy, information society, computer-aided assessment, ICT, and educational policy R&D.
He believes that everyone has something to teach that someone else wants to learn. This is the thinking behind the easy-to-use LearnWorlds online platform.
It’s also why he transitioned from an academic and researcher to co-founding and becoming CEO of the company.
George Palegeorgiou is the co-founder and chief product officer of LearnWorlds. He worked as a researcher in the fields of human-computer interaction and educational technology.
He also lectured at the University of Western Macedonia in the field of ICT in education.
When he cofounded LearnWorlds with Panos Siozos and Fanis Despotakis he fulfilled his dream of designing and developing online education platforms which improve the learning experience of many people.
Fanis Despotakis is the chief technology officer and co-founder of LearnWorlds and a software architect. He studied at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki where he met his fellow co-founders.
Despite the strong academic background of the company’s founders, they had no experience in taking a product to market. For this reason, it took a few years for the business to begin developing.
It enjoyed some organic growth in the early years and then in 2019, it received $1.2 million from Marathon Venture Capital, a Greek seed-stage fund helping Greek entrepreneurs.
The pandemic of 2020 led to an increase in demand for online learning and this helped the company to expand much more quickly than it had initially anticipated.
The global health situation changed the way people work, learn, and communicate.
Remote working took off and e-commerce accelerated, this gave the already rising creator economy a boost.
In the field of e-learning, this meant that companies and individuals had to rapidly adapt and step up their digital transformation.
By mid-2021 the company had more than 4,300 customers in over 120 countries.
This included solo educators, small to medium enterprises, and large-scale sellers of engaging online courses.
Marathon Venture Capital
Marathon Venture Capital is an Athens-based Greek venture company that provides seed-state financial help of between €1 million and €1.5 million to startups.
In exchange, they get a 15-20% ownership stake in the business.
The firm was founded in 2017 and is backed by a variety of partners.
The European Investment Fund, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Hellenic Development Bank of Investments are all backers.
Focusing primarily on Greek founders the company provides investment to a range of start-ups and in a wide range of sectors including education, finance, AI, and cryptocurrency.
Half of Marathon Venture Capital’s investments have been in Greek-based enterprises with the other half in various locations around Europe and in the US.
Many founders retain some of their operations in Greece for cultural or financial reasons. LearnWorlds now has its headquarters in London but also has offices in Cyprus and Greece.
When Marathon Venture Capital invested in LearnWorlds they acquired a stake in the company.
Panos Papadopoulos, a partner at Marathon is now on the board of directors at LearnWorlds.
The money invested by Marathon enabled the company to increase its offerings so that it could market to large-scale online schools, corporations, and organizations for their various needs.
According to Panos Siozos “Learning is the most effective, guaranteed, and fulfilling way to change a life, and the future of learning is online”.
Not only were they able to help educators monetize their skills, but they were also able to reach millions of learners.
The decision to raise outside investment came from their desire to increase the speed and scope of their product.
Up until that point LearnWorlds had bootstrapped to profitability and was enjoying great success and customer satisfaction.
LearnWorlds’ New Partner
In 2021 LearnWorld secured $32 million in growth funding from Insight Partners, one of the world’s biggest private equity firm investing and leading global venture capital firms.
Insight works closely with companies in their formative years and contributes expertise and business development, helping to scale up a company’s operations.
Insight Onsite is the ScaleUp engine that they use to help companies by providing key business services such as marketing, product development, and recruitment.
Nikitas Koutoupes, a managing partner at Insight, and Boris Treskunov, managing director joined the board of LearnWorlds, bringing with them excellent operator experience.
Koutoupes believes that LearnWorlds exemplifies the optimal cloud-based learning management system providing a premium and interactive experience.
This allows people to develop additional skills and companies to retrain employees.
Insight is known for investing in companies that deliver market-leading products, particularly in the field of technology and software.
It has previously helped companies such as Shopify, Twitter, and Udemy and invested in 400 companies across the world.
Insight Partners, formerly known as Insight Venture Partners, is a New York-based private equity and venture capital firm.
They invest in high-growth technology and software, start-ups, and scale-up companies which show potential.
The company was founded in 1995 by Jerry Murdock and Jeff Horing and was initially known as Insight Venture Partners.
The company’s headquarters are in New York City, and it has offices in California, Tel Aviv and London.
To date, it has raised more than $90 billion in capital commitments and invested in more than 700 companies worldwide. It has also seen 55 of its portfolio companies achieve an initial public offering.
They cite their mission as finding, funding, and working successfully with visionary executives.
Their intention is to provide companies with properly scaled, well-timed software expertise as they grow, from initial investment to going public.
With the investment of $32 million from Insight Partners, LearnWorlds got a huge injection not just of capital but also of expertise.
The venture capital company’s core pillars of scale, focus, and experience could now be applied to the LearnWorlds model.
The funds would be put to use to scale up in a variety of areas within the business. They planned to advance their product roadmap and boost their customer success efforts.
Additionally, the company intended to increase marketing and sales focus on small and medium businesses across the globe.
They had already experienced triple growth between 2020 and 2021 and were seeking to capitalize on that success.
LearnWorlds hoped to more than double their full-time staff from 80 to 170 and to expand internationally, beyond Greece and Cyprus.
They subsequently moved their headquarters to London, although the majority of staff still work fully remotely.
Who Uses LearnWorlds?
This easy-to-use, but powerful e-learning platform can be used by a wide range of educators.
It is fully customizable as a white-label solution so has many potential applications for employers, entrepreneurs, or training managers.
The system is cloud-based and offers tailor-made solutions for every kind of educational situation. It allows course creators and distributors to create ‘worlds of learning’ where learners can immerse themselves in the content and interact with others.
There are a lot of unique features to the LearnWorlds product that may not be available from other providers.
There is a built-in social community, an interactive video editor, and automatic video transcripts. It also has a robust website builder and eCommerce platform.
Users can create a complete e-learning website with self-authored content.
They can then market and sell it as a B2B or B2C product with the help of LearnWorlds tools such as virtual infinite marketing and affiliate tools.
Other benefits for users of this platform are its templates, modular page builder, advanced analytics, assessment engine, and automated certificates.
It is an all-in-one solution for professionals to create and sell online courses, for employers to train employees and associates, and for companies to educate their customers.
LearnWorlds counts freelancers, small to medium businesses, large enterprises, nonprofits, and public administrations among its customers.
It has allowed people in a vast range of spheres to create, and monetize online learning.
Some of these areas are health, marketing and advertising, professional training and coaching, and financial services.
It is accessible on Linux, Mac, and Windows platforms and can be integrated with many 3rd party marketing tools such as Zoom, and Zendesk.
LearnWorlds has been used for employee onboarding, customer training, microlearning, and continuing education by many training organizations. (Check out ‘Your Comprehensive List of LearnWorlds Alternatives You Should Know About.’)
For those who want to build an online training business, it is the perfect solution.
The growth in e-learning created a market for online training that is only going to grow over time.
The new way for people to learn is via the internet and LearnWorlds was in the right place at the right time to take full advantage of this trend.
The original founders of the company have a strong belief in the need for accessible and quality learning.
They have created a unique training solution that has attracted substantial venture capital.