Leeds Illuminate invests in leading global product management school to address the rapidly evolving marketplace
The global leader in product management training, Product School, has secured $25M in growth equity investment from Leeds Illuminate, subject to regulatory approval. The financing will support scaling operations to accelerate partnerships with a growing roster of Fortune 500 companies, redefining the landscape of career-focused certification.
Bootstrapped since 2014, Product School has attracted the investment on the heels of a record-breaking year. Once associated with tech companies in Silicon Valley, product managers (PMs) are now sought-after in virtually all industries and locations. Since COVID, the online product management school has tripled its growth as demand for Product Managers reaches an all-time high.
“There has never been a better time in history to build digital products and Product School is excited to unlock value for product teams across the globe to help define the future,” said Carlos Gonzalez de Villaumbrosia, CEO and Founder of Product School, and a serial entrepreneur who emigrated from Spain to Silicon Valley in 2011. “Our company was founded on the basis that traditional degrees and MBA programs simply don’t equip Product Managers with the real-world skills they require on the job.”
With over a million-strong community of PMs, Product School’s certifications are considered the gold standard in the industry. Aside from certificates for individuals, the school also provides custom team training to any business that is seeking to upskill their existing teams or onboard new talent.
“Product School’s extraordinary growth in the marketplace is evidence that product managers have an outsized role in driving digital transformation and innovation across all sectors,” said Susan Cates, Managing Partner of Leeds Illuminate. “Having built the largest community of PM’s in the world validates Product School’s certification as the industry standard for the market and positions the company at the forefront of upskilling top-notch talent for global organizations.”
Already training employees at seven of the top 50 companies on the Fortune 500 list including Walgreens, Walmart and Capital One, Product School also uniquely leverages the expertise of real-world Product Leaders currently working at top Silicon Valley companies, including Google, Facebook, Netflix, Airbnb, PayPal, Uber, and Amazon.
"Product School customized the program to our specifications, bringing deep dives and hands-on examples of the latest and best practices in product management. They provide an excellent complement to our internal capability, building programs for our 200+ IT Product Leaders,” said Luca Dell’Orletta, Global Product Director for Mobile Platforms and Applications at Nestlé Group. “Our Tech product teams have very diverse experience and expertise ranging from supply-chain and order-management systems to customer care, MarTech, e-commerce, business intelligence,and machine learning. Product School was able to deliver value for our every need.”
The race is on for companies to hire PMs at unprecedented rates and the increase in demand for product jobs is leading to record-high applications to enroll in Product School. Recent findings from the Future of Product Managers Report, which interviewed 1,500 Product Leaders from companies across every sector and industry, shows over 55% of respondents are hiring within the next six months and salaries are three times higher than the U.S. mean average.
Product School makes 90% of its resources available to everyone for free, because it believes firmly in democratizing access to education. This investment caps a momentous year for the school, including: publishing an Amazon bestseller, The Product Book, and hosting over 1,000 virtual events, such as The Proddy Awards and ProductCon, the largest online product management conference in the world that takes place four times a year.