Terje Seljeseth (Oslo, 1960) is part of the community of foreign entrepreneurs fascinated by the Barcelona ecosystem. The quality of life, the growing digital industry and his ability to attract international talent have led him to locate in the city a subsidiary of his business, Videocation, a Norwegian startup that develops an online training program for companies.
“Attracting foreign talent in Oslo is very difficult, it has nothing to do with the attractiveness of Barcelona, which is capable of attracting professionals even from the United States,” he says. His idyll with the city began years ago, when Seljeseth was in charge of directing from Barcelona the product division of the old Schibsted, one of the largest Norwegian technology companies, which has an important headquarters in Barcelona, managing portals such as Infojobs, Fotocasa, Habitaclia or Milanuncios.
The company employs around forty people, 15 of them, in the Barcelona subsidiary
“I decided to leave office in 2017, when the group split up and became what Adevinta is today. I returned to Oslo and with the savings I had decided to start my own business for the first time”, recalls Seljeseth, who convinced Sigbjørn Eilertsen and Truls Paulsen to co-found the project.
Since then, the company has carved a niche for itself in the continuous training sector for companies. “On our platform, companies can offer their workers courses on all kinds of topics, from the simplest, such as learning to use programs such as Word or Excel, to more complex ones, such as how artificial intelligence works.”
The differential point of Videocation is the language. “The English-speaking market is very competitive, and we believe that we can reach customers more easily if we offer classes in the languages of each country.” That is why Videocation started with classes in Norwegian and recently decided to expand its catalog to Spanish, with the idea of expanding in Spain and Latin America.
The company’s business model is similar to that of Spotify or YouTube. “We are nourished by a network of teachers who upload their video to our platform and get paid for each view they generate. At the same time, companies pay to access the platform, ”he details.
The company has raised 6 million from venture capital in investment rounds
The company offers more than 170 courses and has a clientele made up of 500 companies, of which 200 are large corporations. Seljeseth prefers not to share the net turnover figure. He adds that Videocation has been financed with contributions from a hundred investors valued at six million euros. “Now we are looking for at least another five million euros to finance our landing in the Latin American market”, advances the entrepreneur.
Videocation intends to lead its expansion in Spain and Latin America from Barcelona. Of the 40 people it has on its staff, 15 already work in the offices in the Catalan capital, a figure that could increase as the business expands. At the moment, in this country, the company draws on a network of 115 teachers and already has twenty clients.
During his visit to Barcelona, Seljeseth takes the opportunity to do business, but also to practice golf in Catalonia, where he has a second residence to cultivate his hobby. In his native Norway, the entrepreneur also takes advantage of his free time to practice skiing. Seljeseth says that his life has always been linked to technology. Since he was little, he was passionate about computers, to the surprise of his family, full of musicians and artists.
As a young man he made his own path: he trained in computer science and climbed positions in different companies until in 2017 he decided to live his passion by creating his own digital company.
Videocation is convinced that the best preparation of employees goes through continuous training in the company itself. This type of digital education involves viewing short videos (averaging four minutes) every week. In addition, the company complements the training with worker evaluations through interactive video games.
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