Back in October, CreativeLive pulled back the curtain on its live broadcast platform for creative entrepreneurs with the announcement that it had raised $7.5 million from Greylock. This month, it added $500K more to its Series A with a host of prominent investors joining the round, including Creative Artists Agency, William Morris Endeavor, CrunchFund and Google Ventures.
Joining what is a newly hot space within education — those offering massively open online courses (a.k.a. MOOCs), from Khan Academy to Coursera and Lynda.com — CreativeLIVE wants to bring quality online classes and lectures to the masses, live and at an affordable price point.
We sat down with CreativeLive co-founder Chase Jarvis to talk about the origins of CreativeLive, what differentiates the startup from the rest, and how it’s been able to find traction in an increasingly crowded space.
Jarvis is a photographer himself, and his mission from the beginning has been to create a platform that offers curated content, advice and instruction from the world’s best teachers. Not only those who have PhDs in education, but those who have lived the lives about which they preach — from Tim Ferriss and Ramit Sethi to photography instruction from Pulitzer Prize winner Vincent Laforet and filmmaking classes by Gale Tattersall, the director of photography for House.
Jarvis is keen on helping “creatives” learn how to turn their passions, their projects and their passion projects into real businesses, which is something that can be tough for those “right brainers” among us to master.
Since its inception, however, CreativeLive has moved beyond the creative arts to offer classes in business, software, design and beyond. In our interview, Jarvis mentions the success the startup has had recently with “Photoshop Week” — a course that provided a range of instruction and topics from Adobe’s popular software. During Photoshop Week, more than 150K students (across 178 countries) consumed 460K hours of video, bringing CreativeLive’s total viewing hours to more than 10 million.
It’s a testament to how CreativeLive has begun to strike a chord with viewers, showing that there’s plenty of demand out there for instruction pertaining to creative pursuits and the creative side of business — and just how diverse (and international) this demand is becoming.
Jarvis also talks about plans for the future, which include new studios in the U.S. (taking a page from Lynda.com’s book) and what topics and areas we can expect the startup to focus on next.