College gets you a diploma. Udemy helps with the more practical things in life.
That's the driving force behind Dennis Yang's 5-year-old start-up.
Udemy, based in San Francisco, has just closed a $65 million funding round, led by Stripes Group, with participation from existing investors Norwest Venture Partners and Insight Venture Partners. The company has raised $113 million to date.
Whether it's learning Microsoft Office, how to make sushi or becoming a master flute player, Udemy has more than 30,000 courses taught by 16,000 instructors to help people advance in their career or pick up a hobby. Instructors set the price, and Udemy gets a cut of every transaction. For example, a course on master flute playing costs $89 for over 100 lectures and five hours of video.
"We are a marketplace," Yang said in an interview. "We don't focus on being super-exclusive. There are great teachers around the world, but they aren't all standing in front of the classroom."
Venture investors are pouring money into online education. According to data from CB Insights, investments in education technology companies more than doubled from 2012 to 2014 to $1.87 billion, with more than 350 deals recorded last year.