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Online-learning platform Udemy has just released some rather astonishing statistics. The startup said it’s closing in on a big user milestone with 800,000 students and serves up more than 8,000 courses.

But the real stunner is the money earned by the site’s top instructors. Collectively, the 10 most popular teachers on Udemy have earned a grand total of $5 million dollars.

“We’re at an unparalleled time where technology meets education, and we can now say unequivocally that with minimal time investment, any expert, anywhere, can teach the world,” said Udemy marketing vice president Dinesh Thiru in a statement on the news.

Udemy is also announcing a grant program. Called the Summer of Teaching, the program gives Udemy instructors a chance to win $5,000 plus 100 percent of their course revenues for life. It’s more a sweepstakes than a grant since any instructor who signs up before September 1, 2013, is automatically entered for a chance to be awarded the grant — no proposal required.

For would-be ballers, here’s the full list of Udemy’s top earners for specific categories along with how long they’ve been teaching and how many students they’ve amassed:

  1. Web Development – Victor Bastos $452,985.78; 7,502 students (teaching since 11/11)
  2. Photography – Ken Schultz $65,003.37; 4,157 students (teaching since 6/12)
  3. Graphic Design – Tara Roskell $30,371.92; 3,702 students (teaching since 7/12)
  4. Business Software – Huw Collingbourne $128,729.83; 4,214 students (teaching since 7/11)
  5. IT Certifications and Training – Chris Bryant $260,822; 13,000 students (teaching since 7/11)
  6. Yoga – Dashama $43,599.59; 981 students (teaching since 7/12)
  7. Video, Animation, and Multimedia – Miguel Hernandez $146,512.81; 2,882 students (teaching since 7/11)
  8. Writing and Content Development – Len Smith $59,532.72; 2,926 students (teaching since 1/12)

Founded in 2010, San Francisco-based Udemy is funded by Insight Venture Partners, Lightbank, MHS Capital, 500 Startups, and other investors.

Editor’s note: Lightbank is also an investor in VentureBeat, as is Mark Sugarman of MHS Capital. See our ethics statement.


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