Capping year of rapid growth, Udemy announces enrollment of 5 millionth student

Revenue grew 160 percent over 2013 for online learning marketplace

Dec 17, 2014, 08:00 ET from Udemy

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In the latest demonstration of the power of online learning, Udemy, the leading global marketplace for learning and teaching online, today announced that it has enrolled its 5 millionth student. The milestone caps off a year of unprecedented growth for the online learning marketplace, including a 213 percent student increase, the addition of 6,000 new instructors and a course library that more than doubled in size. People across the globe are recognizing the power of online learning to fuel their personal and professional lives at an unprecedented rate; since its founding in 2010, Udemy students have enrolled in 13.4 million courses.

"Our breakout success this year is an indicator that we've only scratched the surface on connecting people everywhere with the skills they need," said Dennis Yang, Udemy CEO. "Today there are Udemy students and instructors in virtually every country on the planet. We've opened up access to the world's experts and tapped into a near limitless need for individuals to acquire new skills for work and for life. Thanks to our instructors who share their real-world knowledge with the world, Udemy is the place you go when you need to learn something new."

Other noteworthy Udemy milestones of 2014 include:

  • Company revenue grew 160 percent over 2013
  • Udemy published more than 12,000 new courses, a 57 percent increase over 2013
  • The total earnings of Udemy's top 10 course instructors have earned over $10 million teaching on Udemy
  • Udemy tripled its employee count to 120 employees and moved into expanded headquarters in San Francisco's SoMa district
  • The company opened its first European outpost, located in Dublin, Ireland
  • Udemy established Udemy Social Innovation, a program that helps nonprofits create online courses to increase their impact

To date, Udemy has raised $48 million in funding. The company raised $32 million in a Series C round in May, led by Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) with additional support from existing investors Insight Venture Partners and MHS Capital.

"2014 was a phenomenal year for marketplace businesses," said NVP partner and Udemy board member Sergio Monsalve. "Udemy brings all the advantages of the marketplace to one of the greatest challenges confronting individuals and businesses in our lifetimes: how do we capture, share and apply new knowledge in a rapidly changing world? Udemy is growing at rates we've only seen in the most successful marketplaces like eBay and Lending Club."

Udemy's corporate learning platform, Udemy for Business, also experienced tremendous growth in 2014. The number of Udemy for Business courses more than tripled, contributing to a year-over-year revenue growth rate of more than 288 percent and a customer base that grew by more than 169 percent, including customer wins like Lyft, Eventbrite, PepsiCo and IBM. Additionally, the Udemy for Business team doubled in size this year under the leadership of Paul Sebastien, who was hired this year as Vice President and General Manager of Udemy for Business.

"Fast-moving companies everywhere are struggling to keep pace with ever-changing technology and the new expectations of an incoming generation of millennial workers," said Sebastien. "Udemy for Business offers companies on-demand, anywhere access to Udemy's constantly updated content library. As employers struggle to narrow the skills gap and empower millennial workers, we see demand for online learning platforms only growing more urgent."

Udemy plans to expand its growing international presence in 2015. Revenue in India and Germany each grew 300 percent over 2013. Students in virtually every country on the planet already rely on Udemy to help them get the skills they need, and Udemy will work to further localize its product, language and payments over the next year. Today, Udemy courses are available in over 40 languages and 67 percent of Udemy students reside outside of the United States.

Udemy is the leading marketplace for online learning, offering people everywhere the opportunity to advance their careers, change professions, develop their personal passions, or simply learn something new. With an ever-growing offering of 22,000+ courses, students can transform their lives by learning any subject they choose—at their own pace, on their own time, on any device. For companies, Udemy offers a comprehensive course content subscription and easy-to-use course-creation platform. Founded in 2010, privately-owned Udemy is funded by Norwest Venture Partners, Insight Venture Partners, Lightbank, MHS Capital, and 500 Startups, among others. Udemy is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices in Dublin and Istanbul.

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