February 9, 2022

We Learn Together: Why Cohorts are the Future of Learning

I’m incredibly proud to announce the funding and launch of Modal, the world’s first Mastery Platform. Modal helps companies and employees build the skills needed to thrive in the new world of work through cohort learning and coaching.

A new generation of learning 

In a world awash in great learning content, why do so many employees (and companies) still struggle to develop new skills? In my time leading Udemy’s Business offering, I was part of the generation of Ed-Tech innovators who helped companies everywhere access great learning content. It was (and is) a remarkable accomplishment to reach thousands of companies and many millions of learners. And yet, despite so much readily available expertise and content, leaders and employees continually report frustration–too many people simply aren’t building and mastering the critical skills required to advance and innovate. 

While the first wave of innovation in enterprise learning was focused on access, other challenges remain:

  1. Accountability: It’s tough to stick with a learning program when it’s just you, on your own, with a screen and near-limitless distractions
  2. Effectiveness: You can’t learn to ride a bike by watching someone else ride a bike…skills like coding demand practice and coaching
  3. Connection: The Great Resignation is driving home the importance of building bonds across teams through meaningful activity like learning together

Learning by Doing, Together

I started Modal because I believe a fundamentally new approach to learning can transform people and companies. Our Mastery Platform assembles cohorts of learners across our enterprise customers. They learn together, connect, and hold each other accountable. Our platform blends expert coaching, live instruction, projects, and labs with self-paced learning for cohorts of enterprise learners. And the results have been truly remarkable. By building on and working with the great content of traditional content platforms, we’ve seen a 1500% increase in accountability over MOOCs, and more than 80% of learners are mastering new skills. The conclusion: practice and group accountability work. As people come together, connect, struggle, and ultimately accomplish their goals, employees and organizations tap into their true potential. Connection is our secret sauce. 

If you are a data, learning, or technology leader, please take a look around at the experience, and let’s talk about how our initial offerings for Data Analysts, Data Scientists, or our broader offering for corporate Data Literacy will work for your organization. 

Working with purpose 

So, what’s next? From here, we build. Having raised a $6.7M Seed round from amazingly thoughtful investors at Signalfire Ventures, Norwest, Learn Capital, and Bling Capital, we are delivering the next generation of learning in the enterprise across Data Science and quickly expand across all technical skills.

We are hiring across many roles as we scale to meet enterprise demand. We are on a very gratifying mission to help people reach their full potential, and we are building a great company and culture in the process. Come join us!

My gratitude

So, as an incredibly intense year of heads-down, intensive building comes to a close, and as Modal fully launches our offering, I feel incredible gratitude for the support from everyone who believes in this vision. 

I am grateful to my wife Susannah, without whom Modal would not exist (and also named the company). I am thankful for my cofounder, Dennis Yang, who agreed to join me on this journey and serve as Chairman. And I am grateful for the support and counsel from our early investors. 

But most of all, I want to thank the incredibly special group of early Modal employees (our “Modalers”) and amazing coaches, who are delivering an unprecedented learning experience, and the learners who dedicated themselves to mastering their skills. 

This will always be your company. 

See how Modal works

Learn more about Modal's unique approach to training data professionals.
Learn more