MOOC Spotlight: Udemy
Launched in 2010, Udemy is an online learning platform that allows professors to host courses. The service was conceived in 2007 by Eren Bali while he was living in Turkey. He and Gagan Biyani decided to create Udemy as a way to provide the technology capabilities necessary to teach over the internet.
When Bali and Biyanni tried to raise the funds to launch Udemy they were rejected 30 times because investors weren't confident enough in the business. To solve the problem, Bali and Biyani raised funds on their own and launched Udemy in May 2010.
By July 2010, 2,000 courses had been uploaded and 10,000 users had registered. They then launched a second round of venture capital financing and within two weeks had raised $500,000, they closed the round a week later, in August 2010, with $1 million in investments from 11 people.
A little over a year later, October 2011, Udemy was able to raise $3 million in another round of venture capital. And recently the company announced that it raised $12 million in venture capital financing.
Udemy allows instructors to build online courses on any subject, and Udemy allows instructors to import multimedia files—such as videos, PowerPoint presentations, PDFs, and audio files—to create the course content. Students are able to use the platform to take courses—most of which are free, but some courses can range in price from $5 to $250.
Recently Udemy released information that it has approximately 500,000 registered and one-quarter of its approved instructors have made at least $10,000 in income from courses purchased through the site. Some of the top instructors have made over $100,000 selling classes through the service.
Many of the top classes draw approximately 500 students and some reach in the low thousands, for its service Udemy takes 30% of what professors earn from selling their courses.
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