SageCrowd, a Halifax startup that develops online networks for personal improvement authors, announced Wednesday it has closed its first round of financing, valued at $850,000.

In a statement, the company said the investors were the Ogden Pond Group, the Halifax-based First Angel Network, and various angel investors. The Ogden Pond Group is a Halifax incubator and merchant bank in which sageCrowd Co-Founder and Chair Sean Sears is involved.

SageCrowd is an online learning network that will deepen the relationship between some of the world’s leading personal improvement authors and their legions of followers. The company believes that personal improvement writers often fail to alter their readers’ lives because reading a book doesn’t change your personal habits and behavior. SageCrowd transforms each author’s work into a series of monthly online lessons so followers can develop habits that improve their performance, brings them success and make them happier.

 “We wanted to create an easier, more effective way for people to pursue personal and professional development,” said Sears in a statement. “We believe social learning is a better way.”

The company launched last year with the works of Marshall Goldsmith, the author of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There and other books whose sales have totaled millions of copies. SageCrowd started off with only one channel dealing with Goldsmith’s works and wanted to nail down that channel before including other authors.

It has since added:  Gloria Feldt, cofounder of Take The Lead and author of No Excuses: 9 Ways Woman Can Change the Way We Think About Power;  Jim Smith Jr,  co-author of Masters of Success; and  Justin Gittelman, author of Whole Mind Thinking.

FAN invests in one company each quarter, and the investment in sageCrowd follows its investment in another Halifax startup, Spring Loaded Technologies.

“We've known Sean for years, and respect his business success,” said Brian Lowe, Co-Founder of First Angel Network, in the statement. “SageCrowd has a convincing argument that social learning can scale professional development and their list of authors already committed is strong evidence they're on the right path.”