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Vancouver’s Thinkific raises $22m, aims to hire 350 tech workers

Vancouver company says pandemic has boosted demand for its products and services
Thinkific CEO Greg Smith | submitted

While the B.C. economy still reels from job losses brought on by the pandemic, one local tech company is planning to go on a hiring spree in the wake of a $22-million capital raise.

Thinkific Labs Inc. revealed Tuesday the close of its latest funding round, which was led by early investor Rhino Ventures — also based in Vancouver.

The West Coast company has developed a platform to help businesses and individuals create and distribute online courses.

It’s a venture that’s proving to be in particularly high demand as more people work from home or avoid their usual social engagements during the COVID-19 crisis.

Thinkific reports a 200% increase in online courses being created on its platform since the outset of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, revenue earned by course creators using the platform has reached $650 million since its founding with Thinkific forecasting that will grow to $1.5 billion by the end of 2021.

The company’s own revenue has grown about 150% year over year.

Thinkific says it’s been profitable since 2018 and is using the $22 million capital injection to boost work on its products and triple its headcount by bringing another 350 workers on board over the next 18 months.

The hiring spree comes as Inc. (Nasdaq:AMZN) on Monday unveiled its own plans to hire another 3,000 tech workers in Vancouver.

“Even before the pandemic hit, we were witnessing significant growth, but we’ve now seen the course creation industry change forever,” CEO Greg Smith said in a statement. 

“A massive number of entrepreneurs are rapidly moving their offline businesses online to deliver exceptional teaching experiences to a new global audience. We’re also seeing a significant increase in the number of well-established businesses building out online training as a new revenue driver.”

More than 50,000 individuals and businesses are using Thinkific’s platform to create online courses.

The latest round funding round brings the company’s total raise to $25 million.

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