Within the financing and expansion plans of the Aprende Institute
Aprende Institute, an EdTech platform for the Spanish-speaking population, has just closed a US $ 22 million investment round. Portada spoke to Martin Claure, CEO of the Aprende Institute, about Ed Tech company’s growth plans and the opportunities he sees in the high-growth US Hispanic market.
Small business owners, known as solopreneurs, are a vital backbone of the US economy. This is even more the case of the American Hispanic market, which over-indexes for entrepreneurship. Based on the growth potential of the Hispanic US market, investors have just completed a US $ 22 million investment round in the Aprende Aprende Institute Funding and Expansion Institute, a platform of vocational training focused on the professional development and economic advancement of the Spanish-speaking population.
The Aprende Institute has enrolled more than 70,000 students in the past two years providing a high quality, flexible and affordable solution to acquire highly demanded professional skills in entrepreneurship, beauty and fashion, gastronomy, trades and wellness. Martin Claure, CEO of the Institut Aprende, tells Portada that the Aprende Institute Learning Programs offer hands-on 3-9 month programs that are developed for people who have a passion or interest and want to monetize it. “It is about economic advancement and personal fulfillment in order to give them the means to become an entrepreneur,” says Claure. These solopreneurs or future solopreneurs need both technical and general skills, including knowledge of understanding costs, setting price levels, using social media to build customer base, or management expertise.
According to Claure, the new funding will allow the Aprende Institute to attract top talent in all fields, further improve educational offerings and expand services to businesses and institutions to stimulate growth. “We develop courses in marketing, sales, negotiation, finance and other value-added services specially designed for our students to acquire the business and general skills necessary for business success,” explains Claure.
An online community college experience
The courses of the Aprende Institute are 100% online. “We produce the content and provide our students with on-demand access to experts. The experts moderate the conversations and there is also the evaluations throughout the program where students are asked to complete certain tasks. In addition, there are 200 live lessons per month. According to Claure, these live lessons foster a sense of community and peer learning.
The price classes range from US $ 30 to US $ 100 per month. The Aprende Institute has so far enrolled 70,000 students, of which 30,000 are currently studying. “In 2022, we want to educate 150,000 students,” says Claure. The funding will allow the Aprende Institute to continue its growth in the American Hispanic Market, its biggest market.
The Aprende Institute was started in Mexico and also has a significant number of students in Colombia, but between 70% and 80% of its students are in the United States.
To attract even more Hispanic American students, the Aprende Institute has partnered with Univision, which is also an investor in the New Round of Investment. Univision will make its product offering more widely accessible to the Hispanic American community. “We are going to build a learning channel with Univision,” notes Claure. They will advertise our products on their various platforms and we will provide our experts to Univision for them to use in their programming.
“Spanish-dominated Hispanics are the largest and most underserved demographic in the tech space. There are approximately 30 million Spanish speaking consumers in the United States. All courses and content are in Spanish, although Claure notes that he plans to partner with an English content provider at some point.
Spanish-dominated Hispanics are the largest and most underserved demographic in the tech space. There are approximately 30 million Spanish speaking consumers in the United States.
Marketing of the Aprende Institute
Until recently, Aprende Institute’s marketing revolved around performance marketing, primarily through the use of Facebook, Youtube and Google. Now with the Univision partnership, Claure hopes to gain more notoriety through offline marketing, including the activation of TV spots. A key part of its marketing for the future, says Claure, is to partner with companies that have small businesses as their primary target consumers.
As an example, Claure cites a partnership with the manufacturer of industrial tools and household hardware Stanley Black & Decker. The Aprende Institute will build a training and advancement platform for the Stanley Black & Decker ecosystem. The platform will include instructors and coaches. “Training is an extremely powerful tool for companies to position their brands and retain the various players in their value chains. It is also a very effective tool for organizations and institutions that promote social responsibility programs aimed at improving employability and entrepreneurial skills, ”notes Claure.
Investors in the Aprende Institute
The US $ 22 million investment round was led by Valor Capital Group and included participation from former investor Reach Capital. AStrategic and financial investors such as ECMC Group, Univision, Angel Ventures, Capria, Endeavor Catalyst, Artisan Venture Capital, Matterscale, Salkantay Ventures, 500 Startups, The Yard Ventures, Claure Group and a select group of angel investors. The new funding brings the total raised by Aprende to date to $ 27 million. “At Valor, we bbelieve in the transformative potential of education. We have already invested in companies that have radically changed not only markets but also people’s lives through more inclusive education, ”says Antoine Colaço, Managing Partner of Valor Capital Group. “Aprende Institute caught our attention because it is a social enterprise which, thanks to technology, helps a large number of people to find their true vocation and to seize better opportunities,” he adds.