Online education company Coursera has launched a new business-focused offering aimed at giving enterprises a direct pipeline for training and development resources.
Founded out of Mountain View, California in 2012, Coursera partners with universities and other educational institutions to serve more than 20 million online students a range of courses across business, technology, science, and more. Now, with Coursera for Business, the California-based company has opened itself to additional revenues from the lucrative corporate e-learning market, which some reports suggest was worth $12 billion in the U.S. alone in 2015 and could hit $31 billion globally by 2020.
For launch, Coursera counts a number of notable names as clients, including L’Oréal, Boston Consulting Group, and Axis Bank. Much of the same philosophy of the normal Coursera programs is being ported into the enterprise edition, except it will feature specially curated curricula tailored to a company’s goals, with the ability to track employee enrollment and learning progress. It can also be co-branded with a special homepage through which employees access the courses, while single sign-on means that workers can log in using their usual company accounts both on the web and through Coursera’s smartphones apps.
“Coursera was founded to help transform lives through access to high quality learning experiences, and we’ve seen extraordinary success in supporting people’s career goals,” explained Coursera CEO Rick Levin. “We recognize that one of the best ways we can scale the impact of Coursera and our university partners is by working with the organizations that share the vision of equipping their employees with the knowledge and skills to excel in their careers.”
Coursera is one of a number of so-called MOOCs — massive open online courses — to come to the fore in recent years, and has raised almost $150 million in VC investment since its inception four years ago. Earlier this year, Udemy closed a $60 million round to take its total funding past the $170 million mark, while over the past year Duolingo has raised $45 million, and rival Udacity celebrated five years in business.
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