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OpenLearning attracts investors

Online course platform provider OpenLearning has picked up $1.7 million in new funding, mostly from the former managing director of Netscape Australia.

Of the $1.7 million recently raised by OpenLearning, $1 million was invested by Clive Mayhew (pictured), former managing director of Netscape Australia and former chairman of Sky Software (which just over a year ago obtained $400,000 in Victorian Government funding and was subsequently acquired by the UK-based Tribal Group).

Mayhew is now OpenLearning's chairman and non-executive director.

"OpenLearning represents a massive opportunity to provide high-quality, accessible and collaborative education to students around the world," he said.

"The platform is changing the way teachers provide education and the way students learn."

OpenLearning is already the official MOOC (massive open online course) provider for all Malaysian public higher education institutions, and the company's current focus is on Australia, Malaysia and China.

OpenLearning CEO and co-founder Adam Brimo said "This milestone is a testament to the hard work, experience and passion of our amazing team.

"I'm grateful for the support of our investors and I'm personally looking forward to working with Clive to make OpenLearning the leading online education platform in Asia."

The remaining $700,000 came, in undisclosed proportion, from ICS Global, Robin and Susan Yandle, and Hideaki Fukutake.

The new funding will be used in part to more than double the size of the company's Australian-based engineering team, and to increase the size of its instructional design team.

OpenLearning was one of the startups in the first intake of Telstra's muru-D incubator program, and was one of the first three participants to secure second-round funding. Telstra took a stake in the company as part of the program.

Muru-D co-founder Ann Parker said "It's great to see OpenLearning going from strength to strength and we're confident many of the businesses going through the muru-D program will be able to emulate their success in the future."


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.