A Brave Entrepreneurial Step for Online Courses

#38- Eren Bali, 32 - Co-Founder & CEO of Carbon, Co-Founder & Chairman of UDEMY
Eren Bali is the co-founder of Udemy, a startup that aims to democratize education by allowing anybody to teach and learn online. Bali’s career portfolio includes his time as the founding engineer and director of engineering at SpeedDate and developer at BitGravity. His first startup was a developer of 3D simulations of real estate that were under construction. His next project involved educating entrepreneurs using European mentors in a live classroom setting. Bali graduated from Middle Eastern Turkey University with a double major, earning bachelor’s degrees in computer science and in mathematics.
Founded in 2010 by Eren Bali with co-founders Oktay Cağlar and Gagan Biyani, Udemy created an online marketplace that lets “any human expert” create, distribute and sell video-driven courses online, and allows any student to enroll and take courses, without a lengthy admissions process. The San Francisco startup raised $12 million in Series B venture funding in 2012, led by Insight Venture Partners and joined by Lightbank, Learn Capital and MHS Capital Partners, to bring its video courses to mobile devices.

In total the company has raised $113 million in venture funding since its establishment in 2010. Rather than publishing proprietary educational content, Udemy is an open marketplace that targets “lifelong learners” who want to pick up new skills to get ahead at work. Since 2012, Udemy has grown from about 15 to 200 employees, surpassing 8 million enrolled students and 30,000 contributing instructors. Udemy has offices in San Francisco, Ankara and Dublin. In March 2016, Udemy partnered with Benesse, the leading education and publishing provider in Japan. At least one hundred Japanese-language courses produced by Benesse on a wide range of topics are available via Udemy. The most popular paid courses on Udemy are in technology, business and design. Udemy generates revenue by taking a cut from the sales of the courses that students buy on its platform, including through bulk purchase programs and bundled deals.

The Udemy site has been translated into 10 languages in addition to English and draws 45% of its paying customers from outside of the U.S. It also offers more than 1,000 courses that are conducted in Spanish and is expanding its selection in other languages by reaching out to instructors in new geographic markets. (This article is an excerpt of Lora Kolodny’s article published in the WSJ)

Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07