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What to make of Cornerstone's acquisition of Grovo

Recently, Cornerstone on Demand acquired Grovo - a microlearning company for a consideration of $24m cash.

Grovo a San Francisco / NYC based company was focused as Micro-learning platform.

The deal while not insignificant was a bit of a step backwards for investors and founders of Grovo because the company was sold for far less than the actual capital raised, effectively providing a negative return for the company.

At the time of going to the press on the acquisition, the company said that they had over 300 customers and had over 2500 courses as a part of its repository.

Before commenting upon Grovo, it is important to understand the background and context of some of the other big players in the game:

Adobe’s print and media revenue (including Adobe connect) is less than 2% of annual revenue. The growth has flat-lined and the product is dated.

And for Pluralsight:

Revenue for the third quarter of 2018 was $133.7 million, representing a 9.7% increase compared to the prior year. Revenue growth on a constant currency basis was 9.9%.
Subscription revenue for the third quarter of 2018 was $120.7 million, representing a 19.4% increase compared to the prior year. Subscription revenue growth on a constant currency basis was 19.5%. 

While Pluralsight grew really fast in the past, its growth seems to have slowed down as well.

The strange thing is that anecdotal evidence suggests that learning platforms in the corporate world don’t see much adoption and while educational platforms like Udemy and Coursera have become commonplace, the overall completion rate of MOOC courses leaves much to be desired (at ~2%).

Coming back to Grovo, it looks like the micro-learning model failed to take off significantly. I think Grovo has had a great product and it is a shame to see them get acquired for this price. The learning platform industry has not seen any innovation in the recent past and while Grovo was one of the better platforms in the world of antiquated platforms, they just did not innovate enough to survive.

Grovo and Cornerstone on demand are trademarks of the respective companies. This blog or KloudLearn has no affiliation with either of these companies.