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Accenture to acquire Udacity to build a learning platform focused on AI

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Udacity founder Sebastian Thrun at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco in 2017.
Image Credits: Steve Jennings / Getty Images

Accenture announced today that it would acquire the learning platform Udacity as part of an effort to build a learning platform focused on the growing interest in AI. While the company didn’t specify how much it paid for Udacity, it also announced a $1 billion investment in building a technology learning platform it’s calling LearnVantage.

While it could also offer more general technology training, the company made clear that it is particularly interested in offering training to get workers up to speed on AI. “The rise of generative AI represents one of the most transformative changes in how work gets done and is driving a growing need for enterprises to train and upskill people in cloud, data and AI as they build their digital core and reinvent their enterprises,” Kishore Durg, global lead of Accenture LearnVantage said in a statement.

As for Udacity, which was founded in 2011, it gave the usual kinds of statements a company makes when it gets acquired by a much larger organization like Accenture. That is, it believes that it can reach more people and help them acquire skills as part of the larger entity. That goes without saying, but there had been rumors earlier this year that the company was in talks with Indian edtech company Upgrad with an asking price of $80 million. Apparently that deal fell through and Accenture ended up buying them instead.

Regardless, if the rumored $80 million price tag was correct, that was a precipitous drop in value for a company that raised almost $300 million, per PitchBook, and sported a $1 billion valuation in 2015.

Per usual, the deal is subject to regulatory review and antitrust oversight.

Sebastian Thrun initiates aggressive plan to transform Udacity

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