Building the Organizational Knowledge Graph: Our Series B Investment in Sana
There’s been a seismic shift in the environment for learning and training on the job. Propelled—in part—by distributed and hybrid team structures and more frequent employee movement between companies, organizational needs have evolved while the tools remain fixed in time.
Sana, our latest investment, is an AI-powered learning platform that empowers organizations to find, share, and harness the knowledge they need. Sana upends traditional LMS with its suite of learning tools that center around content creation first, and administrative LMS features second. By doing this, employees from all lines of business can use it to create dynamic content and finally capture the knowledge that lives in every corner of an organization—a sort of organizational “knowledge graph” that has been elusive, until now.
Sana uses generative AI to help with content creation (Sana Assistant) and also allows it to make everything 100% searchable (Sana Universal Search). As a result, employees can get the knowledge they need from anywhere in their organization. The platform connects and indexes tools like Slack, Salesforce, Notion, LinkedIn Learning, and Google Workplace to provide employees with automatically generated answers in natural language. Sana has also built a native live training module from the ground up, with a powerful facilitator and participant features that makes running synchronous training sessions a breeze (Sana Live).
There is widespread demand from companies for a single, integrated learning solution. Almost all organizations use learning tools for tasks like employee onboarding, training, compliance, sales enablement, partner enablement, and more. And, while there’s a litany of LMS tools in the market, Sana’s unique combination of a collaborative content creation engine and robust enterprise features position it well to win as the preferred learning and knowledge management platform in the market.
Sana was created by CEO and founder Joel Hellermark. To call Joel ambitious and talented would be a colossal understatement. I was blown away to learn that Joel is all self-taught. He enrolled in Stanford online to start coding at age 13, founded his first company and raised his first round by 16, skipped his college lectures to start Sana when he was 19, and, in that process, found a fan in President Obama all by 21.
Already, the company’s results are impressive. Both mid-market and large enterprises with long-standing learning management systems are bringing in Sana, demonstrating the clear demand for a new platform that integrates content across many different departments. One of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, for example, uses Sana for all of its medical training content for employees and leverages Sana’s adaptive learning to customize training and save learners time.
What got me most excited about Sana was the tremendous product velocity—the organization is designed from the ground up for speed and obsessively curious about how to better serve its customers. When I first met Joel, I knew how serious I was about him and Sana right away. After speaking to each other on the phone, I bought a ticket to Stockholm two hours before the flight took off and spent the weekend with Joel and the team to show my eagerness to work together.
It’s clear that Sana is about much more than creating a new LMS for Joel but is a truly mission-driven effort to improve learning. Joel is in a league of his own compared to others in this category. He’s sharp and product-centric and has amassed impressive talent at Sana in a short time. Rarely have I seen his same level of curiosity and maturity—and in spending time with the team at Sana, I can say this permeates every layer of the organization.
With the new funding, Sana will extend product development and expand its team across Stockholm, London, and New York. The company’s headquarters will remain in Stockholm. Sana previously raised an $18 million Series A in late 2020 from EQT Ventures.
I’m looking forward to joining the Sana board and partnering with Joel and the entire Sana team, and my fellow investors and friends at EQT Ventures. Sana is always looking to add more brilliant people to its team, so please reach out if you’re interested in joining.