E-Learning Platform Lynda.com Buys Compilr To Add In-Browser Coding Tools, Price Around $20M

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Lynda.com, the online education platform that raised its first and only round of $103 million about a year ago, is today announcing an acquisition that will further Lynda.com’s reach with developers and expand the kinds of services it can offer to users. It’s acquiring Compilr, a Halifax, Canada startup that runs a cloud-based platform for people to learn, write and test code from within a browser. The companies are not commenting on the terms of the deal but we have heard that it is for around $20 million.

Compilr will now become part of the Lynda.com platform.

It looks like Compilr, co-founded and run by Patrick Hankinson and Tim Speed, was bootstrapped before today. That’s something that aligns well with the culture and ethos at Lynda.com, which was also self-funded until it took its mammoth round from Accel and Spectrum Equity last year. But that lack of outside investment may have also been one of the things that hindered Compilr’s growth longer term. In 2012, Hankinson noted that Compilr was rejected by more than 35 VCs — something that compelled the company to implement charging models early on, with monthly subscriptions to the service costing $10.

It’s not clear if those prices will remain intact; Lynda for now is not commenting further on the deal. In any case, existing Compilr users are being offered free training now on Lynda.com.

Compilr is only Lynda.com’s second acquisition ever. The first was Austria’s video2brain last year, made to grow the company’s international portfolio.

So where will Compilr fit into Lynda.com? Up to now, a lot of Lynda.com’s business has been based around an expansive collection of videos covering the areas of software and technology, as well as general business training and the creative industries. That catalog is pushing some 100,000 videos to date. Compilr will not only add more on-site training abilities, with its cloud-based platform for creating code; but it will help Lynda.com expand more in the specific vertical of tech and offering services and courses to developers (and developers in training).

“The acquisition of Compilr reflects our dedication to providing members the best way to learn across a variety of segments, whether we build or buy to achieve those goals,” Eric Robison, president and CEO of lynda.com, said in a statement. “We recognize the growing market demand for programming language instruction and are committed to providing a broad range of high-quality computer programming courses. This aligns with our learning philosophy and allows us to maintain and grow our market leadership.”

As a famous VC once said, software is eating the world, and so the need for more software engineers is certainly not diminishing. Lynda.com cites figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that project employment of software developers growing 22% betwee 2012 and 2022, “much faster than the average for all occupations.”

Compilr currently supports some 12 programming languages and offers courses and support for beginners as well as advanced programmers.

Compilr competes with the likes of Koding, Cloud9 IDE, and Codenvy.