Modal Announces $25 Million Series A to Upskill Employees in AI

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SAN MATEO, Calif., April 2, 2024 — Modal, a leading skills development platform for data and analytics professionals, today announced a $25 million Series A. The round is led by Left Lane Capital and Ensemble VC with participation from leading investment firms Signalfire and Learn Capital. This raise is a testament to Modal’s product, which consistently achieves 75% graduation rates, and the unprecedented demand for AI skills across enterprises.

Modal was founded by Darren Shimkus and Dennis Yang, the former President and CEO of Udemy respectively. They scaled Udemy through many years of growth through an IPO, and bring deep ed-tech experience to their new company. The co-founders started Modal with the intention to help employers reliably upskill their employees through personalized technical and AI skills training. Today, Modal’s learning platform leverages 1-1 expert coaching and job-simulated projects to drive education for those who work with data.

Modal is redefining how companies address skill enhancement by abandoning unlimited subscriptions with extremely low utilization and instead offering a success-based pricing model where companies only pay for the skills employees develop. This new model allows companies to purchase credits, which are only consumed when learners graduate from the course and pass a rigorous capstone project.

“Having been in the industry for two decades, I’ve seen how organizations spend their money offering subscriptions to all their employees, but only 2-3 percent of those employees would complete a course.” Said Darren Shimkus, Modal CEO. “At Modal, we only charge companies when employees actually graduate, demonstrating their new skills. We’re not interested in making money on breakage, we want to drive results.”

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The company has shown strong momentum over the last year, growing its customer base to over 100 large enterprises, including customers such as Dentaquest and Casey’s. The fastest growing segments are generative AI training and leveraging AI to improve productivity. Across all subjects, learners enrolled in Modal’s training programs are 15x more engaged than the industry average, and on-the-job projects regularly attain course completions above 80%.

Modal added that it plans to use the capital to enhance its platform, expand its go-to-market capabilities, and continue to recruit top-tier talent.

“There is no more qualified team in this market,” said Vinny Pujji, Managing Partner at Left Lane Capital. “It’s time we graduate from unused assessments and archaic content to truly engaging, relevant and effective upskilling.”

Modal just recently launched Organizational Development Plans [ODP], designed to help companies connect their goals to specific skills their teams need. This program is meant to drive company objectives, such as improving the business impact of their data work or accelerating the overall transformation of their organization to be more data-driven.

“The results of our partnership with Modal have been incredible,” said Brett Ellerbroek, head of Casey’s Analytics Center of Excellence. “Their tailored approach has accelerated analytical literacy within the organization, allowing for the immediate adoption of capabilities and applicability to solve real business use cases and objectives.”

About Modal

Modal is the world’s most effective learning platform that gives every employee the skills they need to do better work by teaching them the technical skills to understand the context or the ‘why’ and the ‘how” in every step of the process. Our courses, projects, labs, coaches, and community give technical teams the ability to learn side-by-side with world-renowned industry experts, democratizing the learning experience. Drawing from their experience as real-world practitioners, expert coaches deepen learning through personal connection and guidance. With Modal, learners get the practice, projects, and labs to deliver real learning and skill-building. Learn more at

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