Amid rapid growth, Aprende Institute raises $22M to dominate skills training market in Spanish-speaking world

Aprende Institute, the fast-growing online professional training platform serving the Latin American and US Hispanic markets, announced this week the edtech startup has closed a  $22 million investment round.

Valor Capital Group led the round, with participation from Reach Capital, ECMC Group, Univision, Angel Ventures, Capria, Endeavor Catalyst, Artisan Venture Capital, Matterscale, Salkantay Ventures, 500 Startups, The Yard Ventures, Claure Group and angel investors, according to media reports. In total, Aprende has raised $27 million, including a $3.5 million round in late 2020.

The funding will be used to attract top-tier talent, as well as strengthen educational offerings, particularly its School of Business and Entrepreneurship, and expand its B2B division servicing companies and institutions.

In 2019, Martin Claure (pictured above) launched Coral Gables-based Aprende Institute, which integrates technology and digital media with instructor-led classroom activities, providing its students a flexible and customized learning experience, while tracking and monitoring students’ progress. With a mission focused on economic advancement, Aprende offers online courses across five schools – Culinary Arts, Business & Entrepreneurship, Trade Skills, Beauty & Fashion, and Wellness. The edtech startup recently added shorter master classes to its offerings, which are available to students across Latin America and the Spanish-speaking US.

“My mission in life is to build this company into the most impactful learning platform in the Spanish-speaking world,” said Claure, Aprende’s CEO.

That’s already well underway and the new funding will help Aprende capitalize on its more than 6X growth in the last 24 months, accelerated by workers’ growing reskilling needs during the global pandemic. More than 70,000 students across the region have enrolled in its classes, and Aprende recently partnered with Univision to expand its presence in the US.

Claure is the younger brother of SoftBank International Group CEO Marcelo Claure. Born in Bolivia, Martin Claure moved to the US for college. He got his start in the entrepreneurial world working at Brightstar, founded by Marcelo, then moved on to his own ventures, including founding and selling a fintech in Peru and a lithium and cleantech ETF called LIT. More recently, he founded an online cooking school called Gastronomica, the precursor of  the much bigger Aprende.  [Read more in Refresh Miami’s spotlight on Aprende Institute here.]

In April, Claure was tapped for the global network of Endeavor, an entrepreneurship organization focused on helping selected high-impact entrepreneurs scale up  to drive economic growth and job creation.

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Nancy Dahlberg