Houston, the developer of a learning platform for remote teams, has attracted a 200,000 euros investment from Lumus Investments- a union of business angels made up only of CEE women, Overkill – a Latvian investment fund and four of the company’s first Beta clients. The management plans to obtain financing of approximately 0.35 – 0.5 million euros this summer.
The four Beta customers have invested 100,000 euros – half of the funding obtained – and are Bitou (Germany), DynamicEvents (Ireland), Right Impact (Singapore) Turnaround (United Arab Emirates). Houston currently has Beta customers from Germany, Belgium, Ireland, Spain, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates.
Houston is the developer of a learning platform based on an algorithm that measures how employees’ behavior changes once they have gained new knowledge. The company was launched in 2020 by Robert Blaga (37 years old), a specialist with over ten years of training experience in companies such as Michelin or Brainiup (development and learning through play). Over the years, he has been involved in projects with teams from over 40 countries.
A platform that changes online learning
Houston focuses on practicing new behaviors in teams of three to six people instead of the classic solutions that focus on transmitting information to a single individual. The platform is based on an algorithm that measures employees’ behavior after completing a learning module of 30-60 minutes. Subsequently, the program compares the score obtained by the team with a global one resulting from the analysis of over 250 groups. Thus, the information provided is about the team’s progress and its performance compared to other groups. Studying 224 teams that ran a sequential program in Houston, the algorithm observed an average efficiency increase of 28% after 60 minutes spent on the platform.
The company addresses the HR departments of large companies and the providers of training and development programs. Currently, the platform can be used by between five to 1,000 people simultaneously, but the company’s management wants to increase the capacity to 5,000 people by July this year.
“The investment attracted helps us to develop our plan to provide companies with a tool to help their virtual teams learn, come up with better ideas, make wiser decisions and execute tasks more efficiently. The fact that almost half of Beta customers have become our investors confirms the usefulness of our product. We are also pleased to announce the exit of our product from the Beta version”, says Robert Blaga, founder and CEO of Houston.
Pfizer, Microsoft, Deloitte – tested the platform
Also, among the companies that tested the platform are Deloitte, Continental Automotive, Pfizer, Microsoft, Salesforce, Sony. In general, companies going through a learning process with Houston are market leaders that focus on innovation.
Since the beginning of this year, the use of the platform has increased by 56% each month and the number of employees using the platform has increased from 300 in January to 1,700 in April.
“We want to have 100 customers by the end of 2021. Also, starting this month, we have plans to expand to France, Germany, Portugal and Italy and enter the US market. On the American market, we target the states where the headquarters of several companies in the biotech and automotive industries are located. These include California, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana”, adds Robert Blaga.
Houston’s management estimates revenue of one million euros by 2022.