We are seeing a rise in startups that are targeting the market for online learning. Coursera – the leader in the online learning space – announced recently $64 million in a Series D round of funding. In an interview to TechCrunch, Rick Levin, the Chief Executive Officer of Coursera, said that the online learning platform is planning to use the funding to accelerate its business in different areas.
Coursera isn’t revealing its valuation in this round: Levin
The CEO, who joined Coursera after a period as president of one of the more prestigious institutions of the old educational guard, Yale University, told TechCrunch that the company is planning to use the funding to accelerate the business in three main areas – to expand its range of full online degrees (versus one-off classes and short courses), to develop new technology in areas such as artificial intelligence to personalize as well as improve the learning experience, and lastly to continue building out one of its newer areas – targeting businesses and nonprofits and their own training requirements and corporate development needs.
The CEO told the news outlet that the online learning platform is not revealing its valuation in this round, but according to the sources of the online learning service, the valuation of the company in this round is around $800 million. In comparison to the previous round, we see a significant rise, valued from around $500 million to $800 million.
The complete list of investors of the online education service is quite impressive as well. The list includes names like New Enterprise Associates (NEA), GSV Asset Management, Learn Capital, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers. A new investor that participated in the funding was ‘The Lampert Foundation’ whose name is pretty popular in health and education philanthropy. This takes the total funding raised by Coursera to over $210 million.
Coursera has 26 million registered users now
The online learning service, which has around 26 million registered users across its different courses and other offerings now, was founded in 2012. The online learning service offers around 2,000 courses in 180 specializations, master’s degrees in innovation, computing, business, and accounting and other courses for nonprofits and enterprises. Also, the company has around 150 university partners.
According to Levin, the latest programs are growing fast and the online education service is expecting these programs to become more substantial over time. Currently, there are around 50 companies offering courses through the online learning platform, including BNY Mellon, PayPal, Air France KLM, BCG and L’Oreal while nonprofit customers and government come from Egypt, the U.S., Pakistan, Singapore and Malaysia.
Michael Moe, founder and CEO of GSV Asset Management, said “We are excited to see Coursera emerge as the world’s learning platform, with a highly engaged global learner base and educational content from leading universities and top companies. In a global marketplace and knowledge-based economy, education makes the difference not only for how well an individual does, but for companies, and for that matter, countries.”