Udemy Raises $1M in First Funding Round

photo courtesy Gagan Biyani

Udemy, a Founder Institute company, is a website that seeks to democratize online learning by providing tools so that educators can easily create their own online course. It takes only a few minutes to create a course on Udemy, and they can cover any subject from the Photoshop Basics to Poker 101 to Multivariable Calculus.
Investors in Udemy include Keith Rabois, Mark Sugarman’s MHS Capital, Rick Thompson, Russ Fradin, Benjamin Ling, Larry Braitman, Jeremy Stoppelman, Naval Ravikant, Paul Martino, Josh Stylman and Dave McClure’s 500 Startups Fund. Udemy’s fundraising was extremely successful due to help from Adeo Ressi’s Founder Institute and VentureHacks’ AngelList.
Udemy launched on May 11 and has had over 1,000 instructors create over 2,000 courses. The site has nearly reached 10,000 registered users and has an extremely active and passionate community of instructors.
As such, Udemy provides the following tools for educators:
  • Content Platform. Upload presentations, videos, and write blog posts for asynchronous education. Over 10,000 assets have been uploaded to Udemy since its inception.
  • Community. Udemy enables instructors to engage with their users. On YouTube or a blog, instructors and users rarely interact, but Udemy provides users with the ability to “subscribe” to courses so they are more engaged. They can also ask questions via the discussion boards.
  • Live Virtual Classroom. This is one of the coolest features of Udemy. Instructors can host a live video conference with our proprietary Udemy Live tool. Udemy Live has a whiteboard, presentation viewer, chatroom,  and file-sharing component. Over 20 live webcams can stream on Udemy Live and 1000+ users can watch a session at one time.
Udemy is a content site more than it is an education site. This means that anyone can use Udemy – whether it is an author promoting a new book or a yoga instructor wanting to spread their message on the internet.
Udemy is founded by Gagan Biyani, Eren Bali and Oktay Caglar. Gagan writes part-time for TechCrunch’s MobileCrunch and has previously done work for Microsoft, Cisco and Accenture. Eren and Oktay were among the first engineers at SpeedDate.com, where they were in charge of development and helped SpeedDate reach from 0 to 10 million users in its first 2 years.

Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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