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#Annual Report
Last edited one year ago

Open Learning released their annual report. A quick skim through and it's not looking great.

Revenue was down 9.7% to $3.167M

Despite modest reduction in expenses, net loss for the year was $5.6M vs $6.7M pcp

Cash on hand is $2.2M with a cash outflow from operating activities of $5.4M

A capital raise will be required in the near future

Very modest growth in SaaS ARR, SaaS customers, SaaS revenue

Modest falls in Program delivery revenue, Gross sales, Group revenue

Management seems to be pivoting to the use of "AI" and "ChatGPT". A true use case or a redflag? Management are not promotional but with a capital raise on the horizon I'd say it's the latter. OLL continues to be a growth company struggling to grow and burning a lot of cash along the way. Until they show some traction and an ability to self-fund I can't see this being investable.

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Valuation of $0.050
Added 2 years ago

Decreasing my valuation based on OLL Appendix 4C cash flow statement for the quarter ended 30 June 2022 (Q2 FY22), along with its financial and operational update.


- Platform Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) annual recurring revenue increased 10% year-on-year to $1.597 million, as the Company focused on increasing revenue per customer

- Platform SaaS customer numbers declined to 244 as the Company removed its lower-cost SaaS plans, resulting in average ARR per customer increasing by 12% to $6,544

- OpenLearning’s Platform Revenue increased to $0.737 million, up 2% YoY

- Total enrolments grew by 0.139 million to 5.426 million, while total unique users grew by 0.062 million to 3.267 million

- Cash receipts from customers totalled $0.952 million in Q1 FY22, a decline of 4% YoY

- Strategic review commenced in May with the appointment of IBIS Capital, which has generated interest from multiple parties and a number of opportunities in Australia and overseas

- Cost reductions to save an estimated $2.47 million2 on an annualised basis to reduce losses and improve gross margins are underway

- Transition to a value-added distributor model underway with a focus on divesting a majority stake in the Company’s Malaysian business and exploring other markets in Southeast Asia

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#ASX Announcements
Added 2 years ago

OpenLearning has commenced a strategic review of its business after being approached by interested parties, appointing IBIS Capital to provide advice on “maximising shareholder value through this process”.

The company has indicated there are no assurances that the company will pursue a transaction.

The statement includes a quote from CEO & Managing Director Adam Brimo where he  said: “OpenLearning is one of the largest and most recognised lifelong learning platforms in Australia and Southeast Asia, enabling over 250 education providers to deliver high quality courses to over 3 million learners. OpenLearning is well positioned to continue delivering organic growth and this process will explore all options for achieving sustainable growth and supporting our clients while maximising shareholder value.”

Interestingly, at least from my perspective, that section on shareholder value is hard to read. This one has been tough to continue to follow.

A friend of mine is in learning development – in an internal role – and he has questioned my faith in this one. Will be watching with interest to see what, if any, changes are made.

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#Preliminary Final Report
Last edited 2 years ago

Appendix 4E Preliminary Final Report


Open Learning released their Preliminary Final Report today for the year ended Dec 31st, 2021.


Business Highlights

Platform SaaS customers increased by 23% to 205

The company’s push into Program Delivery segment comprised two programs delivered in partnership with top institutions:

-The UNSW Transition Program Online (TPO), a four month direct entry program for prospective international students

-The CS101* (computer science 101) micro-credential designed in collaboration with leading tech companies

Revenue from TPO exceeded investment within the first year of operation

The first intake of TPO was highly successful with 86% of students receiving an offer from UNSW for either a degree or diploma. Five further intakes are scheduled for 2022 and the goal is to have more Universities, beyond the current 6, recognise the program.

Alchemy Tribridge Sapphire Pty Ltd acquired a 17% stake in OLL via a capital raise


Platform Subscription revenues and Program Delivery revenues – Platform Revenue, rose 170% to $3.045M


Overall group revenue (which deducts shared revenue with education providers) increased 86% yoy while cash receipts improved by 43% to $4.56M


Financial Highlights

Revenue up 86% yoy to $3.5M

Expenses rose 71% driven mainly by investments in program and service delivery

Loss up 19.6% to $6.7M


Cash of $4.6M plus an additional $1.58M post reporting period

Net assets of $4.1M


Cash receipts up 43% as a result of upfront payments from learners and SaaS customers

Cash outflow from operating activities of $6M for the year



I was originally attracted to OLL based on the business model, tailwinds and management team; however, I was too early and should have monitored from the sidelines. OLL showed some impressive growth but still has a long way to go. With a $6M cash burn for the year and ~$6.2M cash on hand another capital raise is likely.


*I’m enrolled in OLLs CS101 course but due to personal circumstances have been unable to complete it. I have until Oct 2022 to complete the course and plan on returning to it when I have more time. As someone who’s spent a lot of time learning over the past 2 years I’ve been impressed with how CS101 has been delivered. There are still a few bugs that need to be addressed (mainly completed tasks not being shown as completed) but consider I was part of the first intake. CS101 is advertised at ~$1,500 but they discounted this to $1,000 and further to $500 as the course start date approached. If anyone has any questions around CS101 I’m happy to discuss in the forum.

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#Trading Halt + Cap Raise
Added 3 years ago

Rights issue originally supposed to close 24 December (what a shocker of a close date with most people having other things on their mind that time of the year) has been extended until 14 January.

Like all of these things if you don't participate you suffer dilution.

Recent insto stakes have given me some faith, however, this one remains on a tight leash and is still one of my lower conviction holdings. While this one is a relatively small holding for me, albeit one that has been cut in half, I will be participating.

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#ASX Announcements
Added 3 years ago

OpenLearning (AAX:OLL) has secured a strategic investment from a global tech-growth firm and announced a rights issue

Investment Highlights:

- Alchemy Tribridge Sapphire (‘ATL’ or ‘Alchemy Tribridge’), an investment group experienced in driving returns in technology businesses, will take a position in OpenLearning of up to 19.9%

- ATL will invest $2.9 million in a placement, priced at $0.093 a share, and also be issued an additional $0.6 million worth of options with a strike price of $0.093 a share and an expiry date of 30 September 2022

- ATL will support OpenLearning in the next phase of growth to capture a greater share of the lifelong learning market with the appointment of Mr Ben Shields, one of the Founding Partners of ATL, to the Company’s Board on completion of this placement

- Eligible OpenLearning shareholders will be able to invest alongside ATL through a nonrenounceable rights issue at the same price per share to raise up to $3.06 million in new capital. ATL is expected to participate in the rights issue, providing an additional $0.48 million in capital

- The total capital raised of up to $5.96 million through the placement to ATL and rights issue will be used to position OpenLearning for a step-change in growth

This $0.093 price represents a 3.33% premium to the last close price.

This will make ATL the largest shareholder on OpenLearning’s register.

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#Podcast Interview
Added 3 years ago

Adam Brimo, CEO of Open Learning, appeared on Mark Tobin and Phil Muscatellos' podcast Talking Companies. Adam provides some unique insight into the UNSW contract, competitors, strategy, competitive advantage and more. It's a great episode for anyone interested in the company.

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#Business Model/Strategy
Added 3 years ago

Recent investor updates as some other straws have pointed out are showing good growth, there is also a reasonable level of cash holding too.

Couple of things that make me wonder. Sprouting the size of the market in billions when your revenues are in single digit millions. This either says you have massive scope to grow or says you are a mere minnow and likely to be swallowed. Either way, I think it means there needs to be expansion soon.

The other is offering. It looks like a solution seeking a problem. I haven’t had a chance to check how much they invested in this or the projections. One thing I do know after looking at the site for a few minutes is this was not inexpensive.


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Last edited 4 years ago


•3 very passionate and driven founders – Brimo, Collien and Buckland – own 4.6%, 2.6%, and 3.6% for a total of 10.8% ownership

•Founders possess sizable teaching experience (practical and theory), strong tech skills with an interest in AI (2 software engineering degrees), entrepreneurial skills and traits of intelligent fanatics

•Competitive advantages

-          Serve more flexible underdeveloped markets than competitors1 SEA (OLL) vs NA (Coursera & edX) vs EU (FutureLearn)

-          Little-to-no competition in SEA (south-east Asia)

-          First scalers (still in progress)

-          Potential for strong network efforts

-          Potential for sticky customers/high switching costs

-          Possess economies of scale2

-          Strong company culture, vision and values


-          Covid-19/international travel restrictions/lockdown3

-          44% of jobs could be automated with existing tech – need to upskill


•Global addressable customer base (current focus is SEA)

•Serves multiple markets

•Relatively unknown with minimal interest from funds

•Forecast5 EV/Sales 2.55x; trailing 7.2x

•ARPU $377



•Founders have minimal experience running a large company

•$1M cash burn/quarter

•Are tailwinds strong enough to push the online learning trend?



With close to a million in cash burn per quarter and 6 quarters of funding left I believe strong tailwinds, first scaler advantage and most importantly a very passionate founder led company will overcome short-term hurdles to ensure long-term success. It is possible a capital raise will be required in the future. I would sell if significant, continued revenue growth has not been achieved and/or cash flow breakeven was not in sight 6 quarters from now.

Disclosure: I hold a position in OLL.


1 Mr Brimo states most developing countries are lucky they haven’t made significant investments in traditional education compared to developed countries. Traditional markets have spent a lot of money on existing offline educational infrastructure and are reluctant to change even when they know change is good. Developing countries have less invested in traditional infrastructure (sunk costs), are therefore more flexible and can go straight to what’s best – they can embrace ideas for online learning that work.

2 Economies of scale are also passed along to customers (e.g. University) by adopting OLL platform. Customer can target a larger customer base with cost per student decreasing the more they enrol. Traditional classrooms are limited by physical space online are not. I believe this will force more institutions to join OLLs platform (a future inflection point), create their own or risk being left behind competitors.

3 Victoria University’s Mitchell Institute models show Aus university sector faces cumulative loses of $19bn over the next 3 years due to loss of international students. International university students’ fees are twice that of an Australian student. Lockdown has forced educational institutions to consider new ways of delivering material to both domestic and international customers. I believe this will speed up the transition to online learning.

4 Current platforms, competitors and teaching practices are very one directional. Teacher disseminates info to students through lectures, videos or documents. “Real learning” happens from our experiences, interactions between students, group work, and practical application of the learning. Lectures where lecturer just stood up and taught – not that memorable. OLL is designed to bring those (good experiences) online and go against the trend that online learning is just ticking boxes/boring.

5 March Q rev = $720, June Q rev = $945. Assuming continued linear growth of 131% ($945/$720); Sep Q rev = $1,237, Dec Q rev $1,622. Yearly rev to Dec 2020 of $4,524,000

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Last edited 4 years ago

OLL - OpenLearning


OLL views massive open online course (MOOC) platforms as its primary indirect competitor. OL Group’s primary competitors offering MOOC platforms are Coursera, Udacity, EdX (all NA) & FutureLearn (UK).

A few things set OpenLearning apart from its competitors:

•OpenLearning is non-exclusive and available to all education providers globally

•OpenLearning uses (predominately) a SaaS model versus revenue share

•OpenLearning takes an active, project-based, more social learning approach versus competitors more passive approach (think reading documents, watching videos)

Barriers to entry:

•Cost of developing a similar platform

•Establishing a consumer marketplace

•Establishing a large enough user-base to gain economies of scale and network effects

•Building a reputation with top tier universities

•Sector experience


These are not insurmountable barriers to entry but because OLL is the first to scale and as they develop network effects it will be harder and harder for competitors to threaten them (think Facebook). They will need to maintain a high-quality offering and grow revenue sufficiently to achieve this.


If we are skeptical of OpenLearning’s claim it has no competitors in South-East Asia (SEA); here is a brief look at other possible competitors in the education sector.

Other ASX-listed online education providers



Engages in student placements internationally, low mgt ownership. Opinion: not a competitor in online education



Operates 492 educational childcare centres in Aus and Singapore, low mgt ownership. Opinion: not a competitor



Global online education to schools covering math, spelling, reading, highly paid CEO, possible liquidity issues, low mgt ownership, Mathletics & Reading Eggs etc Opinion: strong competitor in school aged sector & could be incredibly hard to displace



K-12 online tutoring internationally, franchise model trying to transition to online – could prove challenging as it puts them at odds with frnchsees. See AlphaAngle’s straw. Opinion: disadvantaged competitor



Au+Singapore, CEO 14%, lots of recent buying on market, Campus based and no mention of online learning – not a significant competitor



Good mgt ownership, illiquid?



Highly paid CEO, poor mgt ownership, recent cap raise



IPO 02/18, good mgt ownership



Liquidity issues, good mgt ownership



Liquidity issues, niche Singaporean educator, not really competitor


Comparing Janison Education Group (JAN) vs OpenLearning. JAN listed Dec 2017; OLL listed Dec 2019 (founded 2012).

Janison Education Group vs OpenLearning


$79M MC

CEO $441,690

Non-Exec Directors ~$180k avg


$30M MC

CEO $268,340

Non-Exec Directors ~$35k avg


Category - Winner

Experience - Janison Education Group

Passion - OpenLearning*

Energy-  OpenLearning

Intelligent Fanatic - OpenLearning*

Diversity - OpenLearning

M/F ratio - Tie

*I’ve only been able to find one video of JAN CEO Wayne Holden speaking – small sample size

Glassdoor Reviews

Janison Education Group

13 reviews 2.5/5


4 reviews 4.2/5

Career Opportunities


Positive Business Outlook


Overall Rating

OpenLearning +1.7

Compensation & Benefits

OpenLearning +0.7

Work-life Balance

OpenLearning +2.5

Senior Management

OpenLearning +0.5

Culture & Values

OpenLearning +1.8

% Recommend to a Friend


CEO approval

JAN n/a OLL 100%


JAN review red flags

Jan 2018 – states high staff turnover

Jan 2018 – poor review of leadership

Multiple – long work hours

June 2017 – poor review of management

May 2017 – long work hours, stress, poor review of ownership

March 2017 – 2nd mention of bullying from senior management. States “lack integrity”, “toxic”

Feb 2017 – Poor review of management, 3rd mention of bullying

Jan 2017 – Management taking on more than they can chew and not listening to staff

*One of above specifically stated CEO/management asked them to leave a positive Glassdoor review

OLL review red flags (only 4 reviews)

Sep 2019 – no growth opportunities, better comm from leadership but says good employee culture



It’s a small sample size but OLL handily beats JAN in several areas. Of importance to me are company culture and how staff view senior management which are all strong for OLL and better when compared to JAN.

JAN senior management are more highly paid relative to MC, particularly directors.

Please see elpaso96 straw for an explanation of JANs capital structure and what this could mean for investors.

Special thanks to AlphaAngle and elpaso96 for their straws contributing to this analysis.

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#Management & Culture
Added 4 years ago

Management & Culture

The Founders

Adam Brimo CEO B.Eng Software, B. Arts Politics 4.68% + 2M Options/performance rights

Prof Richard Buckland 3.6%

David Collien Bsc Computing 1st class honours 2.55%

Much of my assessment of management is subjective. I recommend watching the above.


Adam Brimo (2M) and David Buckingham (0.75M) hold performance options, 50% of which are conditional on ARR reaching $4M by Dec 2020; ARR currently $1.1M. The remaining 50% are conditional on ARR reaching $8M by Dec 2021. This sets a high bar and aligns managements interests with shareholders.


Of concern could be that founders lack experience running a large company. Therefore, surrounding themselves with a strong management team will be important.



Reasonably paid with over 6% ownership if 3.5M options are exercised.

Kevin Barry and Spiro Pappas are the only directors with directorships in other listed companies - ICS Global Ltd and Splitit Payments Ltd, respectively.

Kevin Barry bought shares on market on 2 occasions, shortly after IPO, in December.

Former directors Frank Beaumont and Clive Mayhew still hold 1.67% and 5.86% respectively or over 10.5M shares between them and have not sold down.



Company Culture

4 reviews left on Glassdoor:

•100% CEO approval

•High work-life balance score

•Good senior management score

•High culture and values score

Team consists of a good mix of ethnicities and gender.

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Last edited 4 years ago

remote teaching is great

rather than having to wait

for a pandemic to pass

install this software fast

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Valuation of $0.220
Added 4 years ago
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