On Thursdays I like to cover items in the tech sector news and today I wanted to discuss the recent round of Udemy financing. Naspers Ventures just poured $60 million dollars of capital into Udemy to help the company expand internationally.
This story is near and dear to my heart since I’ve been an instructor on Udemy for several years and it’s been great to watch the company grow in both content and students. I’ll also be attending their Udemy Live conference in a few weeks and I’m excited to see what plans they have for the future.
There’s been countless companies enter the online education space over the past few years, to say that it’s a crowded industry would be putting it lightly. I’m messaged weekly by content marketplaces asking if I’ll list my curriculum on their sites, so Udemy definitely has plenty of competition. However one of the biggest reasons why they’re doing so well is because they are one of the few platforms that have gotten past the chicken and egg problem.
Any type of marketplace, whether virtual or offline, has to have the right balance of sellers and buyers. If you don’t have any buyers the sellers won’t stay for long, and with no sellers the buyers aren’t going to be interested in staying around to click on your contentless website. Imagine going to eBay and not having anyone selling anything, or on the other side of the equation, would you try to sell your couch on Craigslist if you knew no one visited the website? That would be pointless.
So with all of that being said, even though Udemy may be in a crowded space, it’s a sector that has strong barriers to entry which puts the company in a great position and I think Naspers made a great bet on them.
Having had some very poor experiences with educational platforms such as Blackboard, I do think that there is plenty of room for Udemy to expand beyond individuals and work with schools and organizations. Their clean interface and user friendliness makes it a great platform that should do well in the long run as well as right now.
Other Udemy Financing Rounds