Moodle Welcomes First Outside Investment, From The Family of French Sporting Goods Mogul, Michel Leclercq
If you’re from the U.S and have ever been outside the U.S. you’ve probably seen a Decathlon sports store. Decathlon is the largest sporting goods retailer in the world with over 900 stores and $8 billion in annual sales, which is more than U.S. retailers Dick Sporting Goods and Academy Sports and Outdoors combined. The company was founded in the 1970’s by Frenchman Michel Leclercq.
Leclercq, is the father of two and very passionate about education and children through their family foundation. Now, the Leclercq Family Office, has set up “Education For The Many” a new internal fund that will invest in long term companies set out to change the world through education.
Coincidentally coinciding with the opening of the first Decathlon store in Australia, Education For The Many’s first investment is $6 million dollars in to Moodle, the Australian based provider of the open source LMS with the same name.
Moodle was launched in 2001 and now boasts over 118 million users across the globe. They have 85 partners, like ethink education that service their wide range of customers.
Moodle was able to bootstrap this massive growth partly because of their engaged community of developers on the open source platform. By bootstrapping they still hold onto the lions share of the equity.
“We have searched for a long time to find an investor who could truly understand and care about our mission, vision and values, and not just look at our organisation in monetary terms,” Moodle’s founder and CEO, Martin Dougiamas said in a prepared statement. “I’m incredibly happy that we’re beginning this journey together to boost the Moodle project to a much higher level of effectiveness and sustainability.”
Moodle is widely used across the globe in both higher ed and K-12. Totara, has developed and distributes a version of Moodle designed for e-learning and workforce learning. In addition the company hopes to use this investment to continue it’s growth trajectory and introduce new products.
“In addition to our primary product – the Moodle software itself – we have a number of existing and new supporting products that we’re excited to be building – they will work together to provide a consistent and next-generation open platform to empower educators in the coming years.” Dougiamas said.
Moodle is the most popular LMS outside of North America. In the U.S. they hold 25% of the market share, facing huge competition from the likes of Blackboard and Instructure’s Canvas. Leclercq is passionate about Moodle and Dougiamas’s global vision.
“Martin Dougiamas is one of the world’s most talented entrepreneurs in the education field. We chose to participate in the Moodle adventure to allow Martin to accelerate the expansion of Moodle in the world.” he said.