Seattle startup Skilljar raises $33M as pandemic sparks demand for its customer education software

Skilljar co-founders Sandi Lin (left) and Jason Stewart. (Skilljar Photos)

The third time really has been a charm for Sandi Lin and Jason Stewart.

The entrepreneurs began their startup journey in 2013 when the former Amazon employees launched Everpath, a Techstars Seattle company that tried to build a Yelp for online classes. They soon pivoted and began targeting independent instructors, offering them a platform to host online education.

“I call those my first two failed startups,” Lin said this week.

It was the third evolution of the original idea that really took off. Lin and Stewart saw a lot of interest from enterprise companies needing help building customer education experiences. They ultimately launched Skilljar, which has now delivered more than 10 million hours of instruction and 100 million lessons via on-demand and virtual live training programs hosted on its learning management platform.

Skilljar is set to grow even more after

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China’s push to teach in Mandarin sparks Mongol resistance

Parents walked toward a wall of metal barriers, holding the hands of their first-graders as dozens of police and men in dark clothes watched and scowled in the afternoon light. One by one, mothers and fathers let their children go into an elementary school that seemed more ominous than it did the year before.

A grandfather stood behind a tree with tears in his eyes as students filed through metal detectors, red scarves tied around their necks, and climbed the steps toward their classrooms. “All ethnic groups must embrace tightly like the seeds of a pomegranate,” read a slogan from Chinese President Xi Jinping printed in Mandarin on the wall.

“They are talking about great ethnic unity. Is this what unity looks like?” said the Mongol grandfather, who did not give his name. He and his wife, Ochir Bao, a woman in her 60s, had come to this school —

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