For students from Chile to California and beyond, Aprende Institute is an opportunity multiplier. Imagine a Spanish language online technical college where you learn skills not just for your next job but to build your own business through Online Certifications and Courses for Culinary Arts, Business, Entrepreneurship, Trade Skills, Fashion and Wellness – that’s Aprende Institute’s starting lineup of services.
When Aprende CEO Martin Claure invested in a fintech startup and was an investor in a culinary learning platform called Gastronomical Internationale, he saw the need for education with more robust in terms of learning and mastering skills.
“Nothing was there that had a robust learning framework,” he says. “I wanted to build something synchronous, self-paced, and where students could engage peer-to-peer.”
Aprende Institute integrates technology and digital media with traditional instructor-led activities. This provides students a flexible and customized learning experience, accessible on any device that monitors students’ progress and promotes engaged learning, skill expertise, and course completion.
“That’s what makes us so popular, not just with students, but investors.” Martin Claure, CEO, Aprende Institute
For the U.S. market, Aprende is a platform for entrepreneurs to take a skill or a passion and create not just a paycheck from it – but to build a thriving business. In Latin America, salaries are low for many workers, and not everyone wants to learn to code. What are the alternatives? The Institute is for people who feel stuck between the options of low-wage factory work, driving for Uber, or learning HTML.
“We offer something more than a series of video tutorials. We are more of an online technical college,” Claure says, “with a real focus not just on technical training but understanding business basics and the skills needed for true entrepreneurship.”
Here are some stories about how people have utilized Aprende Institute to make dramatic changes in their lives:
- Ana Polanco from the Dominican Republic wanted to start her own salon, which she did. Customers began asking about makeup services. She found Aprende, got trained and certified, and now offers makeup services, another revenue stream for her business.
- Gume Tinoco moved from Sonora, Mexico to Arizona. He had a good job installing solar panels for Tesla. He wanted to learn more, so found Aprende’s solar installation program. He’s now running his own installation company.
- Irene Peregrina, a UC Berkeley cafeteria worker discovered Aprende and is now running a catering business.
With 30,000+ current students (and having taught over 70,000 in the past two years) and with over 200 employees, Aprende has grown exponentially since 2019. All of this caught the attention of investors. The latest round of funding raised over $22 million in a Series A II round, bringing total funding to $27 million.
The round was led by Valor Capital Group and included the participation of previous investor Reach Capital. Also participating in the round were strategic and financial investors such as ECMC Group, Univision, Angel Ventures, Capria, Endeavor Catalyst, Artisan Venture Capital, Matterscale, Salkantay Ventures, 500 Startups, The Yard Ventures, Claure Group, and a select group of angel investors.
“The new financing will enable us to attract top-tier talent across all areas, further improve our educational offering and expand services to businesses and institutions to boost growth,” Claure says. “Training is a tremendously powerful tool for companies to position their brands and increase loyalty among different participants in their value chains. It’s also a highly effective tool for organizations and institutions that promote social responsibility programs aimed at improving employability and entrepreneurial skills.”
One of the most exciting developments is an emerging partnership with Univision, the largest provider of Spanish-language content in the U.S. The partnership will be launching a channel offering classes from Aprende Institute. This will keep viewers tuned in to Univision and provide another avenue for Aprende to bring students fully on board the learning platform.
Aprende’s team is distributed across Miami, Mexico City, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, and Lima, and is led by professionals with relevant experience in companies and organizations such as Rappi, Mercado Libre, Google, Vix Media (recently acquired by Univision), Endeavor, Scotiabank and Western Governors University.
Roles at Aprende Institute include three basic categories: First, subject matter experts who develop the relevant curriculum and ensure that it is up to date. Second is the on-air teachers who deliver the curriculum in an engaging way. Third, students at Aprende have access to professionals via chat or phone who can help them with questions so students stay on track to master the subject matter.
“We’re clearly filling a huge need in the marketplace,” Claure says. Ninety-five percent of Aprende’s students find their learning experience enriching, six out of 10 graduates say they’ve increased their income in the short term, and nine out of 10 feel they have improved their quality of life.
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