Toyota, Casio, Shell and others are using this Seattle startup to train their employees

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RapL co-founders Murali Krishnan and Arun Muthukumar. (RapL Photo)

Companies today face a skilled worker shortage. The pandemic has also forced employers to rethink how they train employees.

These trends are helping drive growth for RapL, a startup that just raised $2.2 million for its mobile-focused micro-learning workforce training platform.

Toyota, Casio, Shell, and several others are using RapL to upskill their workforce. The company offers AI-driven, personalized, bite-sized, adaptive learning modules on mobile apps that are catered to each customer and its goals. RapL uses gamification and a rewards program to incentivize engagement. Both office staff and frontline workers can train with RapL’s tech.

Use cases include training employees on company safety procedures, or educating sales staff on customer engagement.

There are a flurry of companies that offer similar workforce training platforms, from traditional learning management systems (LMS) to other microlearning tools such as MindTickle and Axonify.

The Seattle company is led by co-founder CEO Arun Muthukumar and CPO Murali Krishnan, longtime friends who met at college in India. Krishnan previously spent 21 years at Microsoft and was vice president of software engineering at Starbucks from 2018 to 2020. Muthukumar worked at Bell Labs and Cisco before helping launch Linkstreet Learning in 2011; RapL was formed earlier this year and now owns Linkstreet. Krishnan is based in Seattle and Muthukumar is in India, where most of the company’s 26-person workforce is based.

Seattle-based firm Founders’ Co-op led the funding round. Other backers include former Microsoft leaders Ben Slivka and Lisa Slivka; Vetri Vellore, founder of Ally.io; and Praveen Seshadri, former CEO of AppSheet.