Reskilling for the Digital Age — Our Investment in A Cloud Guru

James Cameron
Apr 29 · 4 min read
The founders of A Cloud Guru — Sam and Ryan Kroonenburg

We’re hugely excited to be announcing our latest investment today — in Melbourne-based A Cloud Guru.

A Cloud Guru are the global leader in online cloud computing training and certification — they help businesses and individuals develop skills for everything from AWS, Azure and Google Cloud to specialties such as DevOps, Machine Learning, and Security.

We’ve had the pleasure of getting to know the founders — brothers Sam and Ryan — for a couple of years now, and have seen them quietly building one of the next great Aussie tech success stories. We’re stoked to be partnering with them on this round, alongside US-based VCs Summit Partners and Elephant Ventures.

As founders, Sam and Ryan tend to fly under the radar a bit. You won’t have seen them at many meet-ups or startup conferences. Like many of the best founders we work with, they prefer to have their heads down building things. And they’ve been busy.

In a little over 3 years they’ve built a team of >100 people (split between Melbourne, London and Austin) and one of the fastest growing enterprise subscription businesses we’ve seen in years.

Right Place, Right Time, Right Cloud

A big part of this growth has been because A Cloud Guru have found themselves sitting in the middle of two great growth tailwinds.

First — the cloud is eating software

Cloud providers like AWS and Google Cloud Platform started off just renting servers so you could run your own code — but they are quickly moving up the software stack. They now have fully hosted databases, machine learning libraries, natural language processing modules, communications tools etc.

These tools are changing the game for developers, giving them fewer reasons to write fresh code and more reasons to focus on linking together these cloud based building blocks.

This is empowering a whole new generation of low-code developers and cloud architects, and A Cloud Guru is the key learning destination for this new wave of cloud professionals.

Second — reskilling for the digital age

As technology and automation impacts every sector, we’re seeing a huge push for workers and companies to reskill themselves for the digital age.

We’re on the edge of a massive shift in the workforce by 2030, as many as 375 million workers globally will need to retrain for new digital based jobs. The shift is similar in magnitude to moving from an agricultural economy to manufacturing in the early 20th century, but the pace of change is orders of magnitude faster.

We’ve never seen a shift that will impact as many people over such a short period of time — and we don’t have a blueprint on how to deal with it. But we do know that professional education platforms like A Cloud Guru will play a big role. A Cloud Guru have already helped over 850,000 people from around the world to reskill — from call centre employees in Canberra, to coal miners in Virginia.

All About the Community

But tailwinds like this don’t get you far without great execution — and this is where Sam and Ryan have really excelled.

They’ve built an incredibly sticky product that is fuelled by one of the most active global communities of developers and IT professionals we’ve ever seen.

Their communities are engaged with the platform and with each other daily — encouraging one another and helping each other learn.

Ryan with some Cloud Gurus

I’ve even seen Sam and Ryan get stopped in the streets for selfies with their loyal fans — its insane.

And on top of this community, they’ve also built a tonne of learning pathways and enterprise software tools designed for their enterprise users.

This is why customers like Qualcomm and Verizon love them — and they’ve shown ridiculously strong multi-year retention rates and expansion revenue from their B2B customers as a result.

You can probably tell we’re pretty excited to get to work with these guys. And as always — they are hiring — so if you think you’d be excited to work with them too please do get in touch.


We love backing founders like Sam and Ryan who are building a company that is making a big dent in the world. If that sounds like you — get in touch. And for more updates like this in your inbox, sign-up to AirMail — our monthly newsletter that shares what’s been happening in tech across Aus and NZ.

AirTree

An venture capital fund in Aus and NZ. Working for gamechangers. First round. Multiple rounds.

James Cameron

Written by

VC @airtreevc in Sydney. Formerly @Accel, founder @bipsyncapp. Loves shiny new ideas.

AirTree

AirTree

An venture capital fund in Aus and NZ. Working for gamechangers. First round. Multiple rounds.

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