In the world of online education, Lynda.com is a senior citizen.
The company started 20 years ago with a web design book, hit profitability in 1997, migrated to the web by 2002, and didn’t take any funding until 2013. Today, it’s announcing its second round of funding, a massive $186 million.
Lynda.com helps people learn all kinds of business, technical, and creative skills through its library of videos. The company produces the videos in its own studios and hires subject matter experts to teach the courses. Individual subscribers can access Lynda.com’s full library of courses starting at $25 per month, which makes up about 55 percent of the company’s revenue, Lynda.com president Andrew Wait told VentureBeat. Schools, companies, and other organizations can also use Lynda.com’s courses to supplement their training programs.
Since it’s been profitable for so long, this new round of funding is actually to make acquisitions. It’s already at the final stage of due diligence to acquire one company, and has letters of intent in the hands of three others, chief executive Eric Robison told VentureBeat. Acquisitions will help it expand into new international markets and broaden its content for both consumer-level users and its enterprise customers.
Lynda.com isn’t alone in harnessing the web for accessible education. Udacity, Udemy, Khan Academy, Pluralsight, and many others have been gaining popularity in recent years, with technical skills being particularly in demand.
TPG led the round, with Accel Partners, Spectrum Equity, Meritech, and other existing Lynda.com investors also participating. TPG partner David Trujillo is joining the board as part of the deal.
Lynda.com was founded in 1995 by Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin, and is based in Carpinteria, California. It previously raised $103 million in funding from Accel Partners, Spectrum Equity, and Meritech Capital Partners.