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Udemy, Inc. is an American Massively Open Online Course (MOOC) designed for professional adults and students. It was founded in May 2010 by Eren Bali, Gagan Biyanii Oktay Chaglar.
As of January 2020, the platform has over 35 million students and 57,000 teachers teaching courses in over 65 languages. More than 400 million people have signed up for the courses. Students and faculty come from over 180 countries, and 2/3 of the students are from outside the United States.
Students take courses primarily as a means of continuing education related to work. Some courses generate credit for technical certification. Udemy has made special efforts to attract corporate trainers looking to create term papers for their employees. As of 2020, there are over 130,000 courses on the website.
Udemy is headquartered in San Francisco, California with offices in Denver, Colorado; Dublin, Ireland; Ankara, Turkey; Sao Paulo, Basile; and Gurugram, India.
In 2007, the founder of Udemy (you-de-mee, portmanteau of you + academy) Eren Bali created the software for a live virtual classroom while living in Turkey. He saw the potential in making the product free for everyone, and two years later moved to Silicon Valley to start a company. The site was launched by Bali, Oktay Caglar and Gagan Biyani in early 2010.
In February 2010, the founders tried to raise venture funding, but the idea did not impress investors, and they were rejected 30 times, according to Gagan Biyani. in response, they uploaded product development and launched Udemy — Academy of You — in May 2010.
Within a few months, 1,000 instructors created nearly 2,000 courses, and Udemy had nearly 10,000 registered users. Based on this favorable market reaction, they decided to try another round of funding and had raised $ 1 million in venture funding by August.
In October 2011, the company raised an additional $ 3 million in Series A funding led by Groupon investors Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Cavell, as well as 500 startups and MHS Capital.
In December 2012, the company raised $ 12 million in Series B funding led by Insight Venture Partners, Lightbank Capital, MHS Capital and Learn Capital, bringing the total funding for Udemy to $ 16 million.
On April 22, 2014, the digital publication The Wall Street Journal reported that Dennis Young, Udemy's COO, had been named CEO, replacing Eren Ba.In May 2014, Udemy raised an additional $ 32 million in Series C funding led by Norwest Venture Partners, and See also Insight Venture Partners and MHS Capital.
In June 2015, Udemy raised a $ 65 million Series D funding round led by the Stripes Group. Now, Udemy has joined another online training home, Skillsdox Inc, from Canada to open a skills school in India.
In June 2016, Udemy raised $ 60 million from Naspers Ventures as a follow-up to a $ 65 million Series D funding round from June 2015.
On February 5, 2019, Udemy announced that the company's board of directors has appointed Gregg Kokkari as its new CEO.
In February 2020, Udemy raised $ 50 million from longtime Japan partner Benesse Holdings, Inc. and announced an estimate of $ 2 billion.
In November 2020, Udemy raised $ 50 million at a $ 3.25 billion valuation led by Tencent Holdings.