citybiz+ RTP Global Leads $3.7 Million Round for Augment Online MBA Startup

New York-based RTP Global, whose successful bets include DataDog and Ring Central, has led a $3.7 million seed round for Augment, a startup offering an inexpensive MasterClass-style MBA program.

Other backers include France’s Motier Ventures, Kima Ventures, Bpifrance and Financière Saint James; and New York-based Origins Fund. Angel investors who invested in the startup include Thibaud Elziere, founder of Paris-based Hexa startup studio, and Roxanne Varza, founder of Station F startup campus.

Augment announced $6 million in funds raised, including $2.3 million that came from investors weeks after it set shop in the spring of 2022.

Entrepreneurs as Faculty

Augment was co-founded by Roy Wellner and CEO Ariel Renous, friends and HSE Paris graduates who concluded that MBA programs need stronger inputs from real-world businessmen, rather than mere academicians. With the likes of Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and YouTube founder Steve Chan on its faculty, the startup offers its flagship online program for a mere $1,750, and several other “mini-MBAs” for as low as $450. Since March, Augment has enrolled 500 students, mostly from the United States.

“We now have the means to match our ambitions: creating a program that will change the landscape of online business education and thousands of students’ lives,” Wellner said in a LinkedIn post after the funding round.

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The startup targets three types of professionals — aspiring entrepreneurs who want to go beyond a simple idea, managers who want to improve their leadership skills and technical professionals looking for business skills to become senior leaders, TechCrunch said.

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Over 100 Investments
Founded by computer scientist Leonid Boguslavsky, RTP Global has backed over 110 tech startups across the United States, Asia, and Europe, with one in ten portfolio firms growing into multi-billion-dollar businesses. His bet on DataDog returned 500 times the invested capital. RTP Global’s other big successes include Delivery Hero and EPAM Systems.

The firm has raised over $2 billion from investors. Currently, it has over $3 billion in assets under management. Its recent portfolio investments include Deasie, Wiom, Incubees and Komi.