skillsoft and codecademy logos on a light blue background

Digital Learning Firm Skillsoft Acquires Codecademy

December 23, 2021 Learning and Development
Mike Prokopeak
By Mike Prokopeak

Skillsoft Corp. is set to acquire technical skills specialist Codecademy in a $525 million deal, the company announced on Dec. 22. 

Boston-based Skillsoft is a giant in the enterprise learning market, offering more than 180,000 courses and pieces of content in 29 languages on a wide variety of topics from leadership and technology, to business skills and compliance. The company also offers two learning technology products, including learning experience platform Percipio and learning and talent management technology platform Sumtotal Systems.

Codecademy, founded in 2011, is a technical skills specialist that focuses on coding education for web development, data science, cybersecurity and programming languages such as Python, CSS and JavaScript. The company's skills training has been used by 40 million people globally to advance their career in technology. The New York City-based company also offers Codecademy for Business, an enterprise-focused service to help companies train their internal workforce.

It's that focus on the growing technology and developer segment that made Codecademy an attractive acquisition target for Skillsoft. "When we combine Skillsoft’s enterprise customer base of more than 12,000 corporate customers and over 46 million learners with Codecademy’s 40 million learners, sophisticated digital marketing capability and influential brand, we expect to unlock significant revenue synergies," said Skillsoft CEO Jeffrey Tarr in a press release statement.

Skillsoft has been on something of an acquisition spree after clearing bankruptcy in 2020 and going public in June 2021 via special-purpose acquisition company Churchill Capital Corp II. That coincided with acquisition of Global Knowledge, an IT and professionals skills development firm. Shortly thereafter Skillsoft acquired leadership development and coaching platform Pluma, Inc. for $22 million.

Digital skills and technology have taken on increased emphasis amidst the rapid transformation of business throughout the COVID pandemic. Low-code applications are quickly becoming the technology of choice for many people in the digital workplace as organizations look to address the shortage of skilled technical talent.  According to research from Gartner, 70% of new applications developed by organizations will use low-code or no-code technologies by 2025, up from less than 25% in 2020.

With this acquisition, Skillsoft appears to be setting itself up as a player in this growing movement to develop a deeper and broader pool of developers and citizen engineers outside of IT.

"Together with Skillsoft, we will have the opportunity to rapidly increase the size of our content library and scale Codecademy across the millions of learners and thousands of companies – including approximately 75% of the Fortune 1000 – that work with Skillsoft worldwide," said Zach Sims, Codecademy founder and CEO, in a press release statement. "With additional resources and opportunities to drive growth, we are excited to embark on this important next chapter."


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