Neol, a London-based decentralised and tokenised cohort-based learning and on-demand talent platform, has raised $5.2 million in a seed round co-led by kyu Collective and Global Ventures, with participation from Learnstart, the seed fund of Learn Capital, FJ Labs, and Paribu Ventures.
The round was also backed by iconic designer, Tim Brown, chair of IDEO; Emin Gun Sirer, founder and CEO of Ava Labs, and Sota Nagano, serial unicorn entrepreneur and managing partner at Abies Ventures and Tony Xu, co-founder and CEO of DoorDash and Meta board member.
The startup will use the funding for product, brand and partnership development. Initially focused on the UK., Europe and the Middle East, it will continue building its network of communities and expand into new markets in the Global South.
Co-founded by Kerem Alper and Akar Sumset, Neol runs online training schemes. It’s similar to On Deck, although instead of targeting founders and startup operators, it’ll be targeting younger design and creative professionals, as well as mid-level managers involved in corporate innovation. Its programs are designed to provide deep, unique and playful learning experiences, and connect with skillful people based on shared passions and work on challenges that matter.
The company believes that equitable systems are mission critical to building better futures. Today, Web3 provides both the technological infrastructure and the necessary social imperative to build more equitable systems.
Speaking about the platform, Co-founder & CEO of Neol, Kerem Alper, said:
"Creative individuals are the core to driving meaningful growth in the world. We are building a platform for them to connect, learn and shape while also participating as owners of the very platform they are part of."
On the talent side, the firm wants to work with the community it’s already assembled for learning to provide on-demand consulting services and support to corporations. If, for example, a global fashion brand wants to reimagine its packaging or its supply chain to be more sustainable, it can put the call out to Neol’s community for ideas.
Adding further about the company, Co-founder & President of Neol, Akar Sumset, said:
"We are providing solutions at the intersection of complex challenges, objectives of purpose-driven scale-ups, corporations and organisations, and the passions of independent creatives. We are excited at our growth prospects and enthused to see our community grow as a cross-disciplinary talent base that connects on skills, passions and vision."
Neol claims to have run eight cohorts with over 600 learners and 200 customers.
Commenting on the funding, Managing partner of Global Ventures, Noor Sweid, said:
"With 70% of corporates now leveraging on-demand talent platforms and Web3 being the Internet’s next frontier, Neol blends both trends to offer a unique and innovative solution. By enfranchising creatives, Neol's on demand, cohort-based talent platform redefines how companies collaborate. We are firm believers in the potential of the solution to transform the future of learning and work."