Synapse raises $3.3 million CAD seed funding for corporate e-learning software

Toronto-based Synapse, which provides e-learning software for company training programs, recently announced the close of a $3.3 million CAD seed funding round.

“Synapse’s solution fills an important gap in the market and the team is putting incredible focus in all the right places.”

Synapse is looking to use the funding to help grow its Learning Design System, a cloud platform that automates instructional design best practices for businesses. The round was led by Generation Ventures with participation from Ripple Ventures, Differential Ventures, CEAS Investments, Cathexis Ventures, Ideal Ventures, and the managing general partner of Bay Partners, Neal Dempsey.

This marks Synapse’s second raise. The startup, formerly known as ExpertKnowledge, announced that it had raised $1 million CAD in seed funding back in January 2016. That year, ExpertKnowledge presented and sold the vision of its software (Synapse), that had yet to be developed, to an enterprise client. Synapse then raised, what it is now calling, a pre-seed round of $1 million.

After graduating from EDGE EdTech accelerator in New York, Synapse officially launched its product with that pre-seed funding. As the company began to commercialize its software, clients suggested branding under one single name, so the company officially rebranded to Synapse in January 2017.

Synapse was co-founded by current CEO, Ryan Austin. He and his co-founders came up with an idea similar to Synapse after taking part in The Next Founders program in Toronto. It was then that they started working on a platform meant to provide continuing education to senior executives, called In-Aucity.

Synapse founder and CEO Ryan Austin became obsessed with the fragmented corporate training market after working at World Trading Group

Synapse was then founded in 2016 along with receiving its pre-seed funding. The startup’s current product uses artificial intelligence as a recommendation engine, helping subject matter experts and training departments streamline collaboration and reduce delivery time of training programs. Its platform connects experts, instructional designers, and training departments to develop and deploy training programs that align with learning goals and objectives. Synapse works with customers in a number of verticals including finance, oil and gas, retail, healthcare, technology, and manufacturing.

“We are excited about what the future holds for Synapse,” said Laura Lenz, partner at Generation Ventures, who is joining the company’s board as part of the investment. “Synapse’s solution fills an important gap in the market and the team is putting incredible focus in all the right places: people, product, customer value, and metrics that support the success of the business.”

Austin stated that his company is the first to use artificial intelligence in an instructional design process.

“The use of AI in corporate learning is in its infancy,” Austin stated. “This funding will help us accelerate growth as we strive to become a core part of every organization’s learning strategy.”

This current round of funding will help Synapse with the growth of its sales and marketing, as well as product expansion. The startup is also looking to hire “key personnel” for undisclosed positions.

Images courtesy Synapse

Meagan Simpson

Meagan Simpson

Meagan is the Senior Editor for BetaKit. A tech writer that is super proud to showcase the Canadian tech scene. Background in almost every type of journalism from sports to politics. Podcast and Harry Potter nerd, photographer and crazy cat lady.

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