Udacity, an online education provider, has announced it raising $105 million in Series D funding led by German media group Bertelsmann along with the new investors Baillie Gifford, Emerson Collective and Google Ventures.
Founded in 2011, Udacity is a new type of online university that teaches the actual programming skills that industry employers need today and delivers credentials endorsed by employers. This startup offers education at a half of the cost and time of traditional schools. It offers specialized software training and vocational courses through its Nanodegree programs and has more than 11,000 students in more than 168 countries worldwide.
Vish Makhijani, president and COO of Udacity said, “Our mission at Udacity is to democratize education making it affordable and accessible to billions of people around the globe to get the jobs they want to improve their lives. While we have made great strides, we have a long way to go in reaching our goal.”
With the fresh funds, Udacity plans to speed up its expansion process in the International market. Few months back, its expanded its services in India and Egypt. It also plans to introduce 45 to 50 nanodegree programs in the forthcoming year. Further to the fund-raising, Kay Krafft, CEO of Bertelsmann Education Group will join Udacity’s board and will help the startup expand its presence in Europe in the near future. With this round of funding, the company’s values increase to $1 billion making it join the Unicorn club.
Udacity’s founder Sebastian Thrun, who has built a high-tech inventions in his career from Stanford to Google is very excited about the current fund-raising. About his startup and its function, he said, “Our students often come from backgrounds that would make them seem unqualified if you just looked at their CV. We’ve had an elementary school assistant who became a software engineer; a professional golfer who became a data scientist. We help people who don’t fit the existing molds shift careers.”