CodeSignal, a technical assessment company that counts Index Ventures and Menlo Ventures as backers, is launching a learning platform. Learn the code signal. The new platform, aimed at an audience that wants to learn technical subjects, also includes an AI-powered bot called Cosmo that helps users learn.
Hundreds of courses are available, from introduction to programming, tutorials on specific languages, data analytics and machine learning, the company said. Eventually, CodeSignal wants to expand into some non-technical areas — such as management skills — to accelerate career paths.
How does the platform work?
CodeSignal Learn is currently accepting users via a waitlist. After you log in, the Cosmo bot will ask questions like what you want to learn and what your skill level is. Based on that, it will create a course path for you.
The platform has two tiers and the company has chosen a gamified way to monetize its product. With the free tier, you can read the lessons on your own. But as soon as you ask Cosmo Bot a question or ask it to help you evaluate your code, you lose an energy bar. Free users get five energy bars with one bar recharge every four hours. The entire process has a mobile game-like feel.
If you don't want to go through this hassle, you can get unlimited power for as little as $24.99 per month.
Users can learn about different topics through text or turn lessons into a slideshow or video-style presentation. The company says it designs courses with subject matter experts to focus on practice-first learning, so courses typically consist of 90% of content that requires users to work with an integrated development environment (IDE).
Why is Codesignal developing a learning platform?
The company was originally named CodeFight when it was founded in 2014 as a competitive coding platform. But as it evolved, the startup focused more on technology prediction and rebranded as CodeSignal in 2018.
CodeSignal CEO Tigran Sloyan told TechCrunch that the co-founders started the company with the goal of finding skilled workers and developing the skills that will shape the future. Sloyan said a startup should do all that and make an educational product as well.
“We quickly realized that vision is everything. So assessments are fundamental to both hiring and development so we thought we should address them first,” he said. With the new platform, the company is re-enforcing the people mindset of skill development.
“We felt we couldn't have a revolutionary educational product until we invented a great one-on-one tutoring product. But with the rise of AI-based technology, we felt it was the right moment,” Sloyan said.
While the company hopes the learning platform can grow a wider audience, CodeSignal thinks about its customers and how it works to bridge the skills gap for their workers or the people they want to hire.
Competition and the way forward
Multiple companies compete in the market for both technical assessments and skill building. LinkedIn, owned by Microsoft, has both learning and assessment modules. Last year, it launched an AI-powered assistant for learning. Pluralsight, which Sloan considers CodeSignal's biggest competitor, also has a prediction product. In the learning space, there are tons of competitors like Coursera and Udemy, along with more focused ones like Guild and Articulate.
Sloan thinks CodeSignal has an edge because it has a practice-first approach to learning. Additionally, he believes that the Cosmo AI bot is like having a private tutor by your side.
The company is also launching CodeSignal for teams and beta testing enterprise products, offering a more customized version for larger organizations. The CEO predicts that the learning product will account for 50% of the company's revenue in two years.
CodeSignal raised its last investment in 2021 with a $50 million Series C raise. While the startup isn't profitable yet, it's not raising another round anytime soon. The company has raised $87.5 million to date. The company has 200 employees, nearly three times the 70 on the payroll in 2021.
( ToTranslate ) codeSignal