Summary: Coursera’s introduction of a monthly subscription model for parts of its MOOC platform is not a Netflix like revolution of higher education but a mere adoption of the very successful revenue model used by e-learning platforms such as lynda.com or Pluralsight.
Of course, adding a matching and accepted payment scheme to a growing choice of tech focused Specializations courses is a logic step to take if you want your slice of this fast growing and very lucrative market segment. But it also navigates Coursera on a collision course with the aforementioned established players and the deep pockets of LinkedIn..
Oh, and what about disrupting higher education by making it accessible to everyone? iversity, Germany’s MOOC platform that was recently saved from bankruptcy, might have the answer to that question.
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As a keen follower of all things edtech you will likely have noticed that MOOC platforms like Udacity and now Coursera are moving away from classic higher education subjects and increasingly into tech skills. Startups like Udemy served that vertical early on. If you think about it, it is somewhat a self-fulfilling prophecy that a Silicon Valley startup is serving the ecosystem it exists in.
Former MOOC turned tech education platform Udacity raised a $105 million Series D, valuing the company at $1 billion. German media, services and education company Bertelsmann increased its stake significantly, making it one of the largest shareholders in Udacity.
Udacity partners with tech firms like Google, Facebook and Amazon to develop so called Nanodegrees that train employees specific tech skills needed for different jobs in the technology sector.
In September Bertelsmann combined its education activities into a separate business unit, Bertelsmann Education Group. Earlier this month Bertelsmann invested $230 million in HotChalk.
Udacity officially launched in India, partnering with Google and Tata Trusts. According to the company, India is the second biggest market for its career focused online courses and so called Nanodegrees.
MOOC platform Coursera announced that it has closed part of a Series C round. The first closing totalled $49.5 million led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and joined by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), International Finance Corporation (IFC), and Times Internet (TIL).