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Learn Assembly: digital employability


“At the time, we were in our mid-twenties, offering evening courses on digital competencies,” explains Sophie Cohendet, co-founder of Learn Assembly. “We were enjoying ourselves because we felt that the usual approach to schooling was too repetitive and frustrating. We offered something different and it went down well. More and more, we were getting requests from distance for video replays of our courses, and more and more the requests were coming from businesses.” As a result, in 2013 Sophie and her business partner Antoine Amiel set up Learn Assembly. Working mainly with large corporate groups like banks and insurance companies, with the likes of BNP Paribas and AXA featuring among their clients, Learn Assembly offer online training courses to help companies lead their digital transformation and develop their digital culture.

“The digital dimension is twofold,” explains Sophie. “It’s both the tool we use to offer our training courses - which is very popular because it’s cheaper than flying your employees around the globe to attend training courses - and it’s also the subject-matter of the courses themselves. With topics like digital culture, blockchain, data protection and management, the new GDPR rules and artificial intelligence becoming increasingly relevant to daily work, companies are keen to train their employees in managing these issues to their advantage.”

Life-long learning is a cornerstone of their approach. “Our bet is to try and get companies thinking more about employability than about employment. It’s about investing in training and upskilling your workforce so that you can adapt to the way the world is evolving.” This is why training the trainers is a key feature of Learn Assembly’s offering.”

In mid-2016, Learn Assembly wanted to develop and launch a new MOOC (massive open online course) training module on the subject of blockchain, but they needed financing to make this happen. “There are high costs up-front in developing this kind of product and the returns only trickle in slowly with time. Going to a bank for a loan would have taken too long, particularly with the complexity of the subject matter. It would have been very difficult for them to assess the risk in extending a loan. This is why crowdfunding through October (ex Lendix) was an attractive proposition. It took only two weeks to get the project online and the actual campaign was lightning-fast: Within a day we had secured the funding we needed. With crowdfunding, you’re able to pitch your product to a wider audience and it’s more likely that you’ll find an expert, who will understand the product, see the potential and engage. Otherwise this would have taken too long, or we would have had a product of lesser quality and nobody wanted that.”

Company: Learn Assembly (France)

Type of business: education

EIF financing: EREM

Financial intermediary: October

For further information about EIF intermediaries in France, please refer to:


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