News Release: Udemy Receives $12 Million in Series B Financing
Led by Insight Venture Partners
Online Learning Marketplace to Significantly Expand Variety and Depth of Content Catalog, Hires Dennis Yang as President & COO
SAN FRANCISCO, December 7, 2012 — Udemy, the leading online education marketplace, today announced the completion of a $12 million Series B financing round led by Insight Venture Partners, with additional support from existing investors Lightbank, MHS Capital and Learn Capital, bringing Udemy’s total funding to $16 million.
The new capital will be used primarily for expanding the range and types of Udemy’s content offerings as well as extending the content catalog across new platforms. Udemy will continue to bring on the best content from the world’s leading experts, publishers and universities. In addition, the company announced the hiring of Dennis Yang as president and chief operating officer.
Launched in early 2010, Udemy is democratizing education by making top-quality content from the world’s experts dramatically more affordable for anyone, anywhere. The site currently offers over 5,000 courses – with over 400 courses added in October 2012 alone – covering a wide range of subjects, including professional, business, technical, academic, creative and lifestyle.
Courses are delivered on demand, so adult learners in particular can take them at their own pace when and where it is convenient for them. Those teaching via Udemy are able to build a curriculum based on videos, slide presentations, PDFs, documents, articles, links, photos and live conferences with their students. Yang, who previously served as executive advisor to a number of start-ups and held leadership roles with 4INFO and Good Technology, will lead Udemy’s business and operations-related activities, working closely with chief executive officer and co-founder Eren Bali.
“Our marketplace model has allowed us to double our course offerings in just 12 months, grow our user base to over 500,000 students, and increase our revenue 400% over last year,” noted Yang. “Udemy is already a top destination for online learning. This round of funding will allow us to continue to build the most amazing and unique content library in the world, expand our content and platform offerings and capitalize on the disruptive market dynamics of MOOCs and other online learning platforms.”
The Series B investment is Udemy’s third round of financing, having previously raised $3 million in October 2011 and $1 million in August 2010. The company recently announced a strategic partnership with The Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University to offer online leadership development solutions, and last month launched an iPad app, making its content even more accessible to students who want to learn anytime, anywhere. In May 2012, Udemy reported that its top 10 instructors collectively earned over $1.6 million.
“Our traditional education model is going through a radical transformation, making a dramatic shift toward the new platforms of online learning such as MOOCs, and Udemy is at the forefront with a unique marketplace model that provides a place for students to receive a quality education while giving instructors of all types the opportunity to earn significant income,” said Brad Twohig, vice president, Insight Venture Partners. “We look forward to seeing the company continuing to lead in this market and grow worldwide.”
Udemy is a Learn Capital company where Tom Vander Ark is a partner