Udacity a platform which provides online open courses and nanodegree programmes, has raised $105 million in Series D round of funding led by German media group Bertelsmann along with Baillie Gifford, Emerson Collective and Google Ventures joining as new investors.
Existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Charles River Ventures and Drive Capital have also participated in the funding. As per the deal, Kay Krafft, CEO at Bertelsmann will join Udacity’s board.
The funding has pushed the valuation of this company to around $1 billion, thereby making it tech’s latest unicorn.
Founded in 2012, Udacity is the brainchild of Sebastian Thrun David Stavens and Michael Sokolsky. The company claims to have trained about 11,000 students from 168 countries last year. It has partnered with names like Facebook, Cisco and Google to provide individual educational courses. Reportedly, Udacity is growing at 30% month on month and is already profitable.
According to Thrun, the new funds shall be used towards expanding and localizing Udacity’s educations programs in international markets including China, and the Middle East. “There is so much demand internationally,” he said.
In September, Google announced IT degrees called Android Nanodegrees and scholarships in partnership with Udacity and Tata Trusts. As part of the deal, Udacity planned to open new offices across India, expand its team and increase partnerships with Indian companies. So far, its seven nanondegrees for front-end Web developer, Android developer, data analyst, iOS developer, intro to programming, full stack developer and tech entrepreneur are free of cost, available across the globe and recognized by IT companies such as Google and Salesforce.