Sir Richard Branson: When he’s not figuring out commercial space travel, he’s making it rain on the kids from Codecademy. Gotta love the guy.
Branson is just one of a whole school of big fish who’ve chipped in on Codecademy’s newest round of funding. The team took home $10 million in toto, and the round also brought in Silicon Valley firms such as Index Ventures and Kleiner Perkins as well as Russian entrepreneur/investor Yuri Milner.
Codecademy, the drop-dead simple site that teaches you how to code, also saw participation from all its previous investors (Tim O’Reilly, Mike Arrington, Ron Conway, and a few others), a good sign, to be sure.
Codecademy certainly deserves the new round. It’s used previous funding to aggressively deliver on its promise of teaching the world to code. When the startup launched at a Y Combinator demo day eleven short months ago, we were impressed by a) the team’s youth, and b) the elegant execution on a truly worthwhile mission.
“This is the first time programming has been truly democratized,” said co-founder Zach Sims at that time. “It’s available to anyone with a computer and it’s easy to follow. We think creating a new generation of programmers will help to raise employment and the standard of living for those individuals. It’s preparing the world for the future.”
Since the launch, the team has rolled out more coding instruction in new programming languages, an ambitious challenge for 2012 called Code Year, and a platform for those who want to teach others how to code.
In the near future, expect to see Codecademy continuing its growth by expanding into new geographies and new languages — and not just programming languages.
“The new money will be used to internationalize Codecademy and bring it to places it’s already,” Sims told VentureBeat in an email today. “More than 50 percent of our users are international, and we’re looking to use this capital and Index’s international expertise to further our international adoption.”
Sims said the team already has support from its userbase for this kind of expansion. “Our course creator community is vibrant, with tens of thousands of courses completed in English and other languages,” he said. “We’re starting to see courses in other languages, and scores of users have started translating our existing courses into other languages.”
The nine-person team has its headquarters in New York City. To date, more than 25,000 people have created courses, and millions of individuals have used the site to learn about computer programming. More than 50 million exercises have been completed, with more than 100 code snippets submitted for a curriculum of more than 400 separate courses.
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