In case you were worried about whether online education
can monetize, Accel Ventures, Spectrum Equity Partners and Meritech Ventures are not. Lynda.com announced they have closed a nine-figure ($103 million to be exact, a record in venture financing) round of funding for the web-based subscription service that was founded in 1996:
The courses reflected founder Lynda Weinman’s early interests leaning towards graphic design and the slightly softer side of the web. In the past 17 years, the site has evolved to a video-based online education platform. Is that more monetizable than the harder-core programming and AI courses reflected in the Coursera catalog?
Lynda.com has widely reported to be profitable, with over $100 million in revenue (in 2012 to boot), and is sometimes the case with late stage investments, it is likely at least in part a well-deserved liquidity event for founders.
The press release is light on the use of funds but the key quote follows:
“Our mission has always been to help people navigate changing technology by providing up-to-date, credible learning materials that are easy to follow,” said Lynda Weinman, co-founder and Executive Chair of lynda.com. “We’ve built a thriving business by focusing on our product, collaborating with the best teachers in the industry and providing flexible learning paths for our customers. Now, we’re ready for the next level. This investment increases our ability to expand our services to help more people in more places, and we believe that Accel and Spectrum have the domain expertise, resources and shared vision to help us reach our goals.”