Online education startup Udacity, whose students have gone on to join the likes of Google and Facebook, is now aÂ $1 billion company.
Today theÂ education company shared that it talked its way intoÂ a $105 million investment fromÂ Google Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, media company Bertelsmann, and others in order to expand internationally.
Udacity’s international plans aren’t exactly new — 30 percent of its users are based outside the U.S., the company toldÂ VentureBeat.Â “We areÂ going to new marketsÂ … and there is no magic number … to where we go. We are going where there areÂ a lot of people attracted to tech, but there is a lack of integration,”Â Udacity’s president and COO, Vish Makhijani, told VentureBeat.
Udacity said it’s not doing this on its own. Partnerships with global conglomerates, like Google and India’s Tata,Â have been key to the international mindset of the company. In India, for example, Tata advised Udacity onÂ the local tech trends and adoption so the educational model could fit better that of the country. The localized technique, said the COO, also ledÂ Udacity to cut the class prices, as theÂ $200-a-month per-class fee was not affordable after the dollar-to-rupee conversion rates.
The same thingÂ happened in Egypt where, Makhijani said,Â companies helped them with the localizationÂ process. Udacity, with the help of Google, “worked with the Government of Egypt to localize [its]Â Android coursesÂ into Modern Standard Arabic.”
Makhijani said that the company is open to any other place that wants to adopt itsÂ educational model and that the service already has closed captions in over 50 languages. Yet there is no current plan to expandÂ in other parts of Africa or in South America.
Udacity now offers nine online “nanodegrees” and plansÂ to put together somewhere between 40 andÂ 50 new degrees by the end of 2016, said Makhijani.
As for theÂ U.S., Udacity’sÂ effort to diversify white male-dominated engineering teamsÂ includes partnerships with AT&T to provide scholarships for students in inner cities, Accenture’s scholarships for veterans, and a 50 percent rebate off the tuition price after completionÂ of a program.
Udacity’s series D round was filled with big-name investors like Scotlandâs Baillie Gifford, Emerson Collective, and Google Ventures. Andreessen Horowitz, Charles River Ventures, and Drive Capital also participated as returning investors.
Bertelsmann Education Group’s CEOÂ Kay Krafft will join Udacity’s board.