These are the investments and acquisitions related to part six of my year-in-review series – “Education’s Online Futures.”

There are several challenges to my research into startup funding. One: I’m quite dependent on how these companies describe themselves. I don’t have time to review everyone’s product to see what they really do. Another: some of the keywords and descriptions companies use are so broad to be meaningless. “Online education” is a perfect example. I’m guessing many, many of the companies that raised money this year fall into this bucket. That is, you need an Internet connection in order to be able to access their product or service. But what I have included here are really just those companies that say they offer online classes. (Tutoring will be covered in a subsequent article.)

Investments in 2017

  • EverFi raised $190 million from The Rise Fund, TPG Growth, Advance Publications, Allen & Company, Eric Schmidt, Ev Williams, Jeff Bezos, and Main Street Advisors in April. EverFi offers “skills training” online, and it has raised $251 million total
  • Coursera raised $64 million in June from GSV Asset Management, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Lampert Foundation, Learn Capital, and New Enterprise Associates. It has raised $210 million total
  • MasterClass raised $35 million in March from Institutional Venture Partners, Advancit Capital, Bloomberg Beta, GSV Acceleration, Javelin Venture Partners, MX Investments, New Enterprise Associates, Novel TMT Ventures, Sam Lessin, and Yan-David Erlich. It’s raised $56.4 million total
  • CreativeLive raised $25 million in May from GSV Acceleration, Creative Arts Agency, Greylock Partners, Jared Leto, REV, Richard Branson, and Social Capital. The company has raised $76 million total
  • Unacademy raised $4.5 million in January from Blume Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners, Ananth Narayanan, Binny Bansal, Girish Mathrubootham, Kunal Shah, Sachin Bansal, Sandeep Tandon, Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs, Tashish Tulsian, Tracxn Labs, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, and Waterbridge Ventures. It raised $11.5 million in September from Sequoia India, SAIF Partners, Nexus Venture Partners, and Blume Ventures
  • Shaw Academy raised $2.95 million in crowdfunding in October
  • Outschool raised $1.4 million from Collaborative Fund, Sesame Workshop, Caterina Fake, FundersClub, Learn Capital, Spectrum 28, SV Angel, and Y Combinator in June. Yes. Sesame Workshop. FML
  • NeoStencil raised $1 million from Brand Capital and Paragon Trust in March
  • Learntree raised an undisclosed amount of money from Kae Capital in January
  • eDynamic Learning raised an undisclosed amount of funding in May from Gauge Capital

Acquisitions in 2017

  • EverFi acquired Workplace Answers in April
  • 2U acquired GetSmarter in May for $103 million
  • K12 Inc acquired Big University

Audrey Watters


Who's Funding Education Technology?

A Hack Education Project

Back to Archives