Udemy raises $65 million to continue pioneering a global marketplace and disrupt the future of education
Stripes Group leads Series D funding round for the online learning marketplace; Udemy to expand offerings that empower people to pursue their ambitions
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. — June 2, 2015 — Today, Udemy, the leading marketplace for online courses, announced it has closed a $65 million Series D financing round led by Stripes Group, with additional support from Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) and Insight Venture Partners. Stripes Group Founder and Managing Partner Ken Fox will join Udemy’s Board of Directors.
As technology causes more frequent career changes and professionals face a growing skills and income gap, people around the world are increasingly seeking new skills to be successful. Already home to more than 7 million students and tens of thousands of instructors, Udemy is a global marketplace for the most up-to-date, on-demand online courses for today’s changing economy. Udemy’s revenue has grown 200 percent in the last 12 months and continues to grow at an increasing rate. Udemy plans to use the new capital to support international efforts, including growing its content library and product offerings to meet growing demand for online learning that provides upward mobility. The funds will also be used to expand Udemy’s enterprise offerings and build out its workforce.
“The established education system is failing to keep up with the modern workforce,” said Udemy CEO Dennis Yang. “By bringing a true marketplace model to education, we’re giving people unparalleled access to their choice of sought-after skills so they can continue growing and reaching their goals. With Udemy’s web and mobile offerings, students access content and experts where and when they want to. We’ve built the marketplace so that students directly impact the kind of content available, allowing the platform to grow and evolve over time.”
Udemy provides valuable content for new and experienced students alike. Udemy’s marketplace model enables students to create demand for courses. Courses with high ratings excel, while those with lower ratings move down in search results. Udemy also gives instructors, who are leaders in business, technology and the arts, the opportunity to make a lasting social impact and monetize their experience by sharing their knowledge with people who need it.
Stripes Group is a veteran in building online content, commerce and marketplace businesses. Through investments in GrubHub, Upwork (formerly Elance-oDesk), Blue Apron, and Pond5, among others, Stripes Group has helped drive digital transformation in substantial market segments that range from the global freelance industry to the dining, media and lifestyle categories. Udemy will leverage this expertise to scale its education-focused content marketplace.
“Stripes Group is excited to bring our operating and investing experiences in scaling cutting-edge marketplace models to Udemy and to global education,” said Managing Partner Ken Fox. “Udemy’s best-in-class platform is uniquely positioned to reinvent how we learn, and to prepare students — from recent grads to those looking to improve in their current role or find a new career — for the challenges of today’s economy. Udemy’s impact can already be measured worldwide, and we believe we are still in the earliest innings of what will be achieved by truly democratizing access to this type of highly valuable educational content.”
Currently, 50 percent of Udemy’s revenue comes from outside the U.S., and Udemy will continue to expand its tools and content to reach students around the world with a focus on East and South Asia, Latin America, and Western Europe. Udemy will also use this funding to redouble its corporate learning efforts. Working with HR and business leaders, Udemy will further expand its Udemy for Business offering with enhanced enterprise features and analytics.
In its own business, Udemy will further grow its workforce with a focus on hiring top engineering and product talent to bring the expanded international and corporate offerings to market.
Since Udemy’s launch in 2010, the company has seen tremendous growth. Specifically:
- 2,000 new courses are created each month, with 30,000 courses available in total
- More than 16,000 instructors from around the world have created courses on Udemy
- 7 million students representing more than 190 countries
- Over 30 percent of Udemy students consume courses via iPhone, iPad, and Android mobile devices
Udemy previously raised $32 million in May 2014, $12 million in November 2012, $3 million in October 2011, and $1 million in August 2010. In 2013, Udemy launched Udemy for Business to help corporations manage, develop, and grow their teams. Corporate customers include Lyft, 1-800-Flowers, Oracle, Century 21, Pepsi, and Pitney Bowes.
Udemy is an online education marketplace with over 7 million students. Our course content and instructor community are constantly growing, with more than 30,000 courses taught by 16,000 instructors. We offer students the ability to learn as they go and succeed on their own terms, while instructors have a way to share their knowledge with the world. For companies, Udemy offers a subscription to our best business courses as well as an easy-to-use platform to create proprietary courses. Founded in 2010, privately owned Udemy is funded by the Stripes Group, Norwest Venture Partners, Insight Venture Partners, Lightbank, MHS Capital, Learn Capital, among others. Udemy is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices in Dublin, Ireland, and Ankara, Turkey.
About Stripes Group
Based in New York City, Stripes Group is a leading growth equity firm that invests in Internet, Digital Media, Software and Branded Consumer Products businesses around the world. For over a decade, Stripes Group has been partnering with market-leading companies with proven business models that are generating exceptional growth. For more information on Stripes Group, please visit www.stripesgroup.com.