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OpenSesame, Portland e-learning startup, raises $8 million
Author: Mike Rogoway, The Oregonian
Posted: January 13, 2014

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OpenSesame, a Portland startup that provides professional training and other educational materials online, said this morning that it’s raised $8 million in new backing.

The investment will enable OpenSesame to substantially boost its sales and marketing efforts and hire software engineers to develop new products. Josh Blank, the company’s co-founder and vice president, said he expects the 19-person company will add six to 10 employees this year. All but four of its staff work in OpenSesame’s offices in the Portland State University Business Accelerator.

“It is obviously a great endorsement and gives us a lot of resources to grow over 2014 and into 2015,” Blank said.

News of OpenSesame’s new investment first appeared last week in the Portland Business Journal.

OpenSesame has now announced $10 million in funding, including a $2 million round seed round in 2011. Today’s investment was led by Partech Ventures, which has offices in San Francisco, Paris and Berlin. Partech general partner Nicolas El Baze will join OpenSesame’s board.

OpenSesame operates an online marketplace where visitors can download instructional courses so employees or contractors can learn professional skills.

Customers include SilkRoad Technology, Five Guys Burgers and Fries and satellite TV giant Dish Network, which signed on with OpenSesame last year.

“Dish is using us to provide learning to both their internal team as well as their channel of installers and resellers,” Blanks said.

OpenSesame hasn’t disclosed sales figures, but Blank said the business is expanding rapidly.

“2013 was a solid year for us,” he said. “Revenue grew well over 100 percent.”