The online learning platform MasterClass was valued at $ 2.75 billion in a new round of funding, the sources told CNBC. According to the Pitchbook, this is more than three times its rating as of June 2020.
The company plans to use the $ 225 million new funds to open a new corporate business and expand internationally.
MasterClass, which offers courses taught by celebrities, athletes and business executives, saw sales soar when people were stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic last year. The growth has been so strong that a few weeks have increased tenfold from the same week a year ago, said CEO David Rogier.
“People want to learn and the joy of learning again. I think the pandemic was just an accelerator,” said Rogier.
But as more and more people get vaccinated and economies reopen in many parts of the world, investors in online education companies are cooling off. Coursera and Chegg, two publicly traded companies, saw their stocks drop 44% and 32%, respectively, from their 52-week high.
MasterClass is based on a subscription model for revenue. An annual subscription costs $ 180 and gives users unrestricted access.
According to Rogier, MasterClass has seen increasing interest from small and large companies in various industries. In response, some of the latest capital will be used to launch a new B2B division.
“Companies see an employment performance in the masterclass, but also an LMD [learning management and development] Tool, “said Rogier.
The new funds will also be used for international expansion. Currently, all classes on the platform are in English only, while around a third of MasterClass subscribers are outside of the US. Courses in Spanish, French and German are to be offered next year.
During the pandemic, users were “multi-hyphenated” and participated in a wide range of classes.
“In the pandemic, it was true that if you take one Steph Curry class, the next one might be Steve Martin,” Rogier said. “Or you can start with a negotiation class with Chris Voss and then find an Alicia Keys class to learn how to sing or write a song.”
Rogier did not want to comment on future IPO plans, but admitted: “There are many options.”
Series F was directed by Fidelity with the participation of Baillie Gifford, Eldridge, IVP and NEA.