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Online education company Coursera has raised $64 million in a series D round of funding led by GSV Asset Management, with participation from New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers (KPCB), Learn Capital, and the Lampert Foundation.
Founded in 2012, Coursera partners with universities and educational institutions to deliver online courses to more than 26 million students, covering technology, business, science, and more. The Mountain View-based company is one of a number MOOCs — massive open online course — to emerge in recent years. Rivals include Udemy, which closed a $60 million round last year to take its total funding past the $170 million mark; Duolingo, which recently raised $45 million; and Udacity, which celebrated five years in business.
Back in August, Coursera for Business launched to tap the billion-dollar corporate e-learning market, followed shortly by a version specifically for governments and nonprofits. And a few months back, Google and Coursera partnered to introduce Cloud Platform training courses for businesses.
Today’s funding round represents Coursera’s biggest single round to date and takes its total funding past the $210 million mark. The company said it will use its fresh cash influx to expand its Coursera for Business initiative and grow its fully accredited master’s degree programs, of which it launch two back in 2015. It recently added two more — a Master’s in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OMIE) from HEC Paris, and a Master’s of Accounting (iMSA) from the University of Illinois. With the funding, it also plans to “accelerate product innovations” across the board, according to a company statement.
“As the industry leader in online higher education, we have a massive opportunity ahead of us in preparing people, companies, and governments to respond to the changing nature of jobs and to take on the urgent challenges of workforce transformation,” noted Coursera CEO Rick Levin, in a press release. “This round of funding enables us to continue innovating across our platform to deliver better learner outcomes and to accelerate the momentum we have in our new initiatives — enterprise and degrees.”
Coursera for Business constitutes one of the company’s biggest avenues for growth. Indeed, some reports suggest that the corporate e-learning market was worth $12 billion in the U.S. alone in 2015, with some estimates pegging the figure at $31 billion globally by 2020.
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