Obrizum uses AI to create employee training modules from existing content • TechCrunch | Tech Rasta


Valued at more than $400 billion, the corporate training market has grown significantly in recent years as companies recognize the cost savings in upskilling their workers, according to Allied Market Research estimates. A PwC report found that teaching employees additional skills can save a company only 43% on salary and 66% on layoff costs.

But quickly building and analyzing the effectiveness of learning programs remains a challenge for organizations of a certain size. In a 2019 survey, Harvard Business Review found that 75% of managers were dissatisfied with their employer’s learning and development (L&D) function, and only 12% of employees applied new skills learned in L&D programs to do their jobs.

In search of an answer, a trio of Cambridge scientists – Chibeza Agle, Sarra Achouri and Jürgen Fink – co-founded Obrizm, a company that applies “adaptive learning” techniques to improve and upskill staff. By leveraging an AI engine, the co-founders claim that Obrizam can create corporate learning experiences for individual staff, identify knowledge gaps and measure learning potential.

“It’s clear that businesses need to continue to invest heavily in effective, successful training and knowledge sharing regardless of their workplace setup,” Agle, CEO of Obrizum, told TechCrunch in an interview. “We’re solving an industry-wide efficiency problem. Businesses have less time than ever to build learning or assessment programs. Meanwhile, there’s more information to teach.

Obrism

Image Credits: Obrism

So how does Obrism intend to achieve this? By creating what Ugle calls “knowledge spaces” rather than linear training courses. Obrizum works with a company’s existing training resources, analyzing and curating webcasts, PDFs, slide decks, infographics, and even virtual reality content into white-label modules that adjust based on learner performance on common assessments.

Obrizum’s algorithms can reinforce concepts and emphasize weak areas by detecting assumptions and “click-through cheating” (ie, fast-forwarding through videos).

“Obrizum makes it very easy and can use valuable information that is not traditionally used for learning or training,” Agle said. “At Obrizum, the individual’s data is used to benefit the individual – as it should be. Then, at the organizational level, machine learning can be used to identify trends and patterns that benefit the majority. . . . Managers can see real-time summary data, including usage statistics, and key concepts for groups of learners. Breakdown of Performance Management level users can also know the performance and activity of individual users.

For employees uncomfortable with Obrizum’s analytics in an era of pervasive workplace surveillance, fortunately they can anonymize themselves and — in compliance with GDPR — request deletion of their personal data through self-service tools, Agle said.

As Obrizum looks to the future, Agle said the company will invest in more comprehensive content automation and analytics technologies, integration with third-party services, and collaboration and sharing capabilities. There is pressure to stand out from rival platforms such as LearnSoft, which allow training to be set automatically and track metrics such as accreditation, as well as generate credentials and certifications for management reviews and audits.

Obrizum competes with Varkera, a precision upskilling platform; software-as-a-service tool GrowthSpace; and to a lesser extent Go1, which offers a collection of online learning materials and tools for businesses tapping content from multiple publishers and silos. The good news is that corporate learning software remains a lucrative space, with investors pouring more than $2.1 billion into an assortment of startups focused on “skilling” employees between February 2021 and February 2021, according to Crunchbase data.

Obrism

Image Credits: Obrism

Agle notes that Obrizm currently works with about 20 enterprise clients, including government, aerospace and defense organizations, with a growing number. Obrizum demurred when asked about revenue, revealing only that it had grown 17-fold since the end of 2020 — largely due to client digital transformation efforts launched during the pandemic.

“Obrizum is a sector-agnostic solution, which is key to our ability to scale quickly and resiliently even in a challenging macroeconomic environment. . . . When it comes to learning experience platforms, Obrizum stands out through its level of automation, the granularity of its customization and the granularity of analytics it provides. stands on its own,” Agle said. “We are very optimistic about the opportunities in our sector despite the broader economic outlook. In the world of work and in the post-pandemic world, the corporate learning market is expanding rapidly, learning is always necessary.

To date, Obrizum — which has 38 employees — has raised $17 million in venture capital. That includes an $11.5 million Series A led by Guinness Ventures in partnership with Beaubridge, Juno Capital Partners and Qatar Science & Tech Holdings and Celeres Ventures, which closed today.



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