Amsterdam edtech platform Lepaya acquires German AI-based online coaching provider vCOACH

Amsterdam-based Lepaya, a soft skills training provider that combines both online and offline learning, announced on Monday (September 12) that it has acquired Munich-based startup vCOACH, which offers virtual training for improving communication skills.

With this acquisition, Lepaya aims to continue its growth in new markets as well as to strengthen its product offering. In December 2021, the company had raised 35.5 million euros in a financing round and the acquisition operation is the first step in accelerating the growth of the company.

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The deal will be announced at ZP Europe, one of the world’s premier HR events.

vCOACH – Everything you need to know

Founded in 2020 by Benjamin Gumpp, Clemens Lechner, Stephanie Mayer, and Tobias Hölzer, vCOACH claims to be the first all-digital soft skills development platform with one-on-one feedback and practice.

The German edtech startup offers AI-based coaching where users receive immediate feedback on their presentation and communication skills. These are reviewed using AI to give direct feedback without human interaction. This rapid and continuous feedback creates a steep learning curve.

Co-founder Stephanie Mayer says, “Our product and technology have received great feedback from customers and users. But to optimally serve large enterprises with a holistic solution, we need to think even bigger. Lepaya’s approach and vision fit perfectly with ours, while offering more skills and methods. We are proud that vCOACH is now part of the Lepaya platform, allowing the technology to continue to grow.

vCOACH co-founder Tobias Hölzer will now lead Lepaya’s AI department.

Objective of this acquisition

Lepaya uses technology to train staff members and develop their soft and technical skills. People can advance their profession or even retrain by learning new skills using a combination of online and offline learning programs.

This approach to edtech is growing in popularity. Companies such as KPMG, L’Oréal, Takeaway, Mollie, HelloFresh, Flink and Picnic have now become customers in the Netherlands. In the UK and Germany, Lepaya recently signed Evonik and BCG, as well as several scale-ups.

Lepaya says it responds to the global trend for employees to retrain and learn skills to adapt to changes in their work environment. Founders René Janssen and Peter Kuperus expect this need for development to apply to the vast majority of employees in the years to come. By learning transferable skills, they can increase their productivity and effectiveness on the job. The company deliberately offers a mix of online and offline training.

According to Janssen, e-learning itself is inefficient. “You learn skills by doing, not by reading about them or watching videos. What can be done online and with technology can be done digitally, but what works better offline should be kept offline.

“Upskill your workforce to its full potential”

Founded in 2018, Lepaya is an energy skills training provider that combines online and offline learning. The company believes that the right training at the right time and focused on the right skill makes organizations more productive.

The company has created a mobile learning app that allows companies in all industries to tailor training to the needs of employees and managers. The platform combines over 50 soft and hard skills training modules into power skills development programs, delivering learning interventions and real-time data on learner behavior and impact.

Lepaya’s services are integrated with Microsoft Teams and Slack, reducing time spent in class by 50%.

Currently, the company has offices in Amsterdam, Munich, Berlin, London and Stockholm, and serves customers worldwide. To date, it has raised €41.5 million from investors including Target Global, Mediahuis and Tablomonto.

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