Guild Acquisition Meant to Speed Solutions for Displaced Workers

Guild Meeting

Learning company Guild Education acquired Entangled Group, a “venture studio” that focuses on products related to training and development.

Guild said the acquisition, its first, will help it accelerate the development of solutions that, among other things, help displaced workers find new jobs. Entangled’s investments in other companies—it’s a venture studio, after all—aren’t included in the transaction, according to media reports.

.@GuildEducation made its first acquisition, @EntangledGroup. The aim: Speed development of educational solutions for displaced workers. #HR #HRTech #Learning Click To Tweet

In the view of industry website EdSurge, the acquisition “says volumes about the need for speed and scope in the emerging ‘future of work” industry, where the rules are getting rewritten daily by the aftermath of a pandemic that is forcing just about every organization to rethink what it does when employees must either stay far apart or work from home.”

Guild’s traditional business had been to provide learning benefits by connecting its customers’ employees to the college and university programs.

Future of Displaced Workers

Early in May, Entangled and Guild worked on Next Chapter, a Guild product that helps companies connect laid off and furloughed workers with Guild’s content and Entangled’s jobs marketplace and career services. Next Chapter was built in partnership by the companies’ product development teams before the acquisition, and the early success “catalyzed the acquisition thesis,” Guild said.

“The COVID-19 crisis has created both an unprecedented sense of urgency to up- and re-skill incumbent employees, and a heightened responsibility to support laid-off and furloughed workers,” said Guild CEO and co-founder Rachel Carlson. “The Entangled team will enable us to quickly design, test and launch products that pair innovative technology and coaching services with transformative educational experiences.”

Paul Freedman, Entangled’s founder and CEO, has become president of  Guild’s Learning Marketplace. Its staff will become employees of Guild.

Founded in 2015, Entangled was originally conceived of as a consulting and product firm with a focus on education technology. It then began investing in education startups. It currently manages a portfolio of 21 companies including Yellowbrick and Course Hero. President Nick Hammerschlag will continue to manage the portfolio and serve as a part-time advisor to Guild, EdSurge said.

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Image: Guild Education