Groupon investors Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell have led a $3 million Series A vote in Udemy, an online platform that allows anyone to host and learn from online classes. 500 Startups and MHS Capital also participated in the round.
Competing with Lynda.com, Udemy offers classes ranging from “Product Developement at Facebook” to “14-Day Total Yoga Body: Lose Weight, Detox and Tone, Fast!” to Eric Ries’ “The Lean Startup” talks and way way more. The platform presently boasts over 6,000 free and paid courses.
“We only make money if our instructors make money,” co-founder Gagan Biyani says, explaining how the company monetizes despite its numerous free offerings — by a 30% cut on top of all paid courses. “As this world of education enters online, our vision is to let anyone enter that marketplace, in the same way that blogging let anyone with a computer publish online,” Biyani asserts.
Biyani plans on using the new financing to hire new staff to primarily focus on marketing and business development. “We’re just focused on growing the user base,” he says. Good luck. :)