Africa's largest company Naspers invests $60M in US online learning company Udemy

Larry Illg, CEO, Naspers Ventures

Udemy, a global marketplace for learning and teaching online, announced on Thursday a strategic investment of $60 million from Naspers through its Naspers Ventures division. Larry Illg, CEO of Naspers Ventures, is joining Udemy’s Board of Directors.

Udemy plans to use the new capital to continue its strong international momentum, including growing its localized course content library and product offerings to meet the global demand for online learning. The investment is a follow-on to Udemy’s $65 million Series D round of financing from June of 2015.

Over the past year, Udemy has experienced significant growth, particularly among its international business. With more than 40,000 courses now available in 80 different languages, Udemy offers the largest selection of online course content.

“With two-thirds of our students and over half of our instructors located outside the U.S., Udemy has made huge strides in opening access to learning and teaching opportunities worldwide, yet we are just at the beginning of realizing the full potential of online learning,” said Dennis Yang, CEO of Udemy. “We’ve reached a critical juncture in our global economy where everyone needs to embrace lifelong learning and take initiative for upskilling themselves. That’s why I’m thrilled to be partnering with Naspers to invigorate our efforts to bring Udemy to even more learners and experts around the world.”

Naspers, a global internet and entertainment company with operations in 130 countries, has the local expertise to help Udemy build its growing international presence. The company has made investments in internet companies, including Tencent and Flipkart, that 1.3 billion people worldwide already use. Naspers provides its companies with unmatched levels of international support, including strong business strategy expertise, operating experience, and access to on-the-ground resources in key expansion markets.

“Naspers is consistently looking to invest in markets where technology can make a significant impact. Udemy has built a technology platform that will transform education on a global scale and we are eager to help them with further expansion,” said Larry Illg, Naspers Ventures CEO. “Their online learning marketplace offers courses on thousands of topics in dozens of languages and makes education for anyone, anywhere more accessible.”

Naspers Ventures joins existing investment partners, including Stripes Group, Norwest Venture Partners, Insight Venture Partners, and Lightbank.

Source: News | Naspers

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