Celebrating 15 years of Unleashing Corporate Talent
2007: Born to transform the corporate training industry
Our founders, Benjamin Joseph and Rupert Hillier were already running successful training businesses in different regions of Spain when fate brought them together. Initially collaborating on an assessment project with the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, they quickly realized they had complementary skill sets and a shared vision to fundamentally transform the traditional approach to corporate learning. Not long after, they joined forces to create Learnlight.
At this point in time, language training was either conducted over the phone or face-to-face and Rupert had the idea to use technology to support our trainers – providing corporate learners with digital learning material before class so that their time with our trainers could be used to deepen understanding of the subject matter.
In the same year that the iPhone was launched, we launched our first digital learning platform, I Speak U Speak.
Meet our first teacher
Michael Handforth joined the Learnlight Team as a Training Coordinator, delivering language and soft-skills training to C-Level Executives. Over the next 15 years he would grow and assume various directorship roles for Spain, the United Kingdom, and International markets. In 2019, he was be promoted to Head of Operations and one year later added ‘Head of Transformation’ to his list of responsibilities.
“It’s been an incredible journey. I think back fondly to that day the Learnlight platform was introduced to me. I never imagined that I would be managing operations 15 years later. I am extremely grateful for every opportunity to grow along with the business and I’m excited to play a strategic role in transforming the business over the next 15 years.”Michael Handforth, Learnlight Head of Operations and Transformation
In 2008, having transformed the language training industry in Madrid and Barcelona, Ben ambitiously called up one of the largest digital English language corporate training companies in the world to evangelize the Learnlight Platform and convey how we could transform their business.
We partnered with GlobalEnglish and used the Learnlight Platform with instructor-led training to complement their digital-only offering. This partnership transformed Learnlight into a global business with learners across the world.
Growing through crisis
It wasn’t always smooth sailing. In 2009 the European debt crisis hit and it was a challenging time for the business.
“We managed to get through it by being lean and finding innovative ways to manage our business. We learned so much during this time and came out the other side a more nimble, agile, and stronger company.”Benjamin Joseph, Learnlight CEO
We continued to grow despite the challenges. Having successfully developed our business in Barcelona and Madrid, we still had unconquered territory in the north of Spain and decided to open an office in Bilbao. This cemented our presence as a leader in language learning in Spain and provided us with an opportunity to impact more lives with our corporate training solution.
Since its launch in 2007, we had continued to develop our learning platform – adding additional features and improving the learner experience, creating something truly revolutionary. It was in 2010 that we won our first award for ‘Best Use of Rapid e-Learning Content’ at the e-Learning Awards – recognizing and rewarding the high-quality content on our platform.
2011: Partnering with the best
With our mission to transform the corporate training industry, we created the Language Training Alliance. We partnered with the biggest language training providers across the globe and gave them access to the Learnlight platform, empowering their trainers with our technology to optimize and accelerate the learning journey.
We understood the impact that mastering a new language would have, not only on a learner’s development but also on growing a global economy, and we wanted everyone to have access to it. Our platform grew from 5,000 corporate learners to 50,000 corporate learners over the following 5 years.
2017 was an exciting year for us. We received a major growth equity investment from Beech Tree Private Equity to help accelerate our international expansion and the further development of our learning platform.
Over the next few years we would grow by acquiring one of Europe’s leading language, intercultural, and communication skills companies, Communicaid, a leading German language training partner, arenalingua, a leading Italian language training company, IBE, and more recently, a leading Mexican corporate language training company, Georgal.
2020 – Building stronger connections
When the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, we used our expertise to provide additional support to both clients and learners.
The first step was to offer Digital Live, an interactive and online self-study program, for free to existing clients for the duration of the pandemic. It was adopted by more than 110 companies, resulting in over 13,000 employees receiving continuous online training during the quarantine from March to June.
As pioneers in virtual learning we were also able to migrate 600 clients from face-to-face training to virtual training across more than 40 countries, retaining 75% of trainers and providing 14,600+ hours of training.
Thanks to more than a decade of experience in digital transformation and a pool of talented trainers, we were also in the position to share knowledge to help businesses that had to shift to remote working suddenly – providing a free global webinar series focused on managing teams in virtual environments and managing change in times of uncertainty.
2022 – Brighter Future
As we continue to build a brighter future for all and reduce our impact on the environment this year we received our CarbonNeutral® certification – having spent 5 years optimizing and refining how we work across the business. With our 100% paperless training and fully-distributed virtual team, we also help our clients transition to sustainable training, saving an estimated thousands of tons of carbon every year.
As we celebrate the last 15 years and look ahead at the next 15, our goal remains the same, to build a brighter future for our clients, learners, team and planet by expanding our service offering to equip corporate learners with the skills needed for the future of work, transforming our platform to cater to the ever-evolving modern learner, building a happy, healthy workforce and culture of curiosity, and doing so sustainably to minimize our impact on the environment.
To learn more about Learnlight and how our language, intercultural, and communications skills training can transform your business and unleash your talent, contact us today.