| Austin American-Statesman
Austin-based Aceable, which took driver’s education from the classroom to the mobile web, has raised $50 million to break into new markets.
Aceable was founded in 2012 with the goal of creating online state-accredited certification courses. The company offers driver’s education and defensive driving classes, as well as real estate certification courses.
Rather than attending class in person on a set schedule, Aceable lets students do state-approved coursework and take tests whenever they want using mobile apps or the internet.
Aceable currently has 2,200 hours of educational content and has provided classes to more than 13 million students in 36 states.
The new funding will be used to expand the certifications Aceable offers. With millions of Americans experiencing job losses related to the coronavirus pandemic, many are turning to online courses to broaden existing skills or learn new ones, said Blake Garrett, founder and CEO of Aceable.
“Changing or growing your career can create new opportunities to reach your life goals,” Garrett said. “Our vision is to make it accessible to anyone to gain a skill and a certification capable of setting you on the path of a well-paid career that you love.”
Aceable will target occupational licensing in healthcare, food and beverage and financial services such as mortgage loan underwriting, he said.
“About one in four people take a license or certification course annually, either to secure or maintain their employment,” Garrett said. “Our real estate business has really taken off as people start to reimagine their careers.”
Private equity firm HGGC was the lead investor in the new funding round. Aceable has raised more than $100 million to date from investors including Silverton Partners, Floodgate and Capital Factory.
Garrett said the new funding will allow Aceable to both expand product development in-house and make acquisitions.
“There are great businesses that have done well that we can bring on our platform,” he said. “We can really give them the resources and the platform to go impact students’ lives.”
Aceable, which is headquartered at 610 W. 5th St., has 130 employees in Austin and 40 in Houston. It plans to hire about 30 additional workers over the next 12 months.
The deal was the second large funding round raised by an Austin company this week. On Tuesday, Self Financial, which helps consumers establish and build credit history, raised $40 million.
Those two deals rank among the largest this year for Austin-area companies. Other major local funding deals in 2020 include Austin-based health technology company Everlywell, which raised $175 million; biopharma company Shattuck Labs, which raised $118 million; edge computing company Vapor IO ($90 million); real estate tech firm Ojo Labs ($62.5 million); legal technology company Disco ($60 million); business software maker ZenBusiness ($55 million) and live streaming technology firm Restream ($50 million).