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Oxford uni invests in workplace training start-up GO1

Australian workplace training start-up GO1 has landed an investment from one of the world’s most prestigious learning institutions, Oxford University.

The university, which implemented the GO1 platform over the past year, has now decided to invest in the software, pouring in 20 per cent of an initial funding round.

GO1, which recently completed the Y-Combinator program in California, helps organisations better train their employees by allowing them to create highly customised online training and eLearning programs, using their own material or from a library of popular courses provided by GO1.

Companies can upload any PowerPoint or web document to the platform which then automatically converts it to a format for employees to download. The start-up, which has offices in Brisbane and San Francisco, launched in Australia two years ago and the four founders are all in their 20s.

GO1 co-founder and chief executive Andrew Barnes — a former Oxford student himself — said it was great to see his alma mater take a progressive approach to improving its long-term capabilities.

“Oxford has a long and famous history but what’s exciting is the future of education, both within a traditional university environment and in other contexts,” Mr Barnes said. “We are thrilled that the university is looking towards the future of education, and investing in a business like GO1 that is focused on leveraging technology to support education and training.”

Scott Kincaid, co-chair of the Oxford Seed Fund for 2015 said: “GO1 has an amazing team with an impressive combination of talent, experience, work ethic and vision. The company has built an extraordinary product, and has already gained significant traction with many notable customers.”

“GO1 is entering a large and growing market that is ripe for disruption, and the SBS Seed Fund team is confident that Andrew and his team are more than capable of being the ones to reinvent this space,” Mr Kincaid said. The service is free for companies with fewer than 10 employees and $US250 per month for a 50 user plan. GO1 closed a $US1 million ($1.36m) investment round backed by Steve Baxter and Tank Stream Ventures in July last year and is currently finalising a further round.

David Swan, Reports