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Coursera Raises $64 Million in Series D Funding, Plans to Aggressively Expand Headcount

Coursera just announced another huge funding round of $64 million. The majority of funding for this Series D round came from existing investors: GSV Asset Management, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers (KPCB), and Learn Capital. The Lampert Foundation also participated as a new investor.

Coursera’s last round of funding, which they wrapped up in October 2015, was for $60 million. So far they have raised $210.3 million in total. According to Techcrunch, the last round came in at a valuation of $800 million.


The money will be used mostly to aggressively increase Coursera’s headcount to expand its new business lines — Corporate Learning and Online Degrees. In the past few months, Coursera has made considerable progress in both these areas. It launched two new Masters degrees in April, and plans to offer up to 20 such degrees by 2019. Coursera also claims to have over 50 companies signed up for its enterprise learning product.

Sixty-four million dollars might seem a lot (and it is), but it doesn’t last long in Silicon Valley. The fully-loaded cost (salary, health care, perks, training, and equipment) of an employee based in Silicon Valley can be around $250k.

Coursera’s current staff headcount is well north of 200, and the company currently has over 50 jobs listed on its careers pages. So it can easily burn through $64 million within a year.

Last year we speculated that Coursera made around $60 million in revenue in 2016. Half of this revenue is shared with its university partners, which create the online courses it offers. With its aggressive monetization tactics, as well as revenue from its new business lines, it would not be too much of a stretch to say that Coursera’s revenue might reach or even cross $100M in 2017.

It would still leave Coursera far away from profitability, but it would buy the company some more time and will put its valuation in the “unicorn” territory ($1 billion).


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