Wilco, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based provider of an immersive upskilling platform for software developers, raised $7M in Seed funding.
The round was led by Hetz Ventures, with participation from Vertex Ventures, Flybridge Capital Partners, and Shopify VP Engineering Farhan Thawar.
The company intends to use the funds to accelerate growth, expand operations and its business reach.
Founded in 2021 by On Freund (CEO), Shem Magnezi (CTO) and Alon Carmel (CPO), Wilco enables software engineers of all experience levels to upskill by acquiring and honing hands-on skills in an immersive experience. The platform, built to emulate the conditions at a tech startup, sends users on “quests” that cover everyday engineering tasks — from deploying an app to finding the root cause of a production issue — utilizing real-life tech stacks.
On the platform, developers join a fantasy tech company — a game-like experience designed to accelerate their professional growth. At their “new workplace”, engineers go on quests that challenge them to navigate complex life-like scenarios while utilizing real tools and technologies.
One quest, aimed at honing skills like debugging and communication, begins with the developer being notified via the workplace messaging app about a mysterious issue with the fantasy company’s application. The developer must analyze data to identify the affected users, recreate the issue on their own device, find the problematic code, and push their fix to the company’s code repository on Github. When needed, guidance from virtual coworkers is provided through the messaging app, simulating a modern remote work environment.
The currently available quests created by Wilco’s team, who have deep expertise in software development as well as game design, cover key software engineering skills and concepts. Additionally, the platform features quests designed with content partners — including New Relic, Applitools, and JFrog — which allow developers to gain real-world experience with popular dev tools. Quests covering additional tools and technologies will be added soon, as well as support for community-authored content.