Coursera is a leading online learning platform specializing in a wide variety of courses, professional certificates, and online degrees. Founded in 2012, Coursera is headquartered in California, USA. Coursera offers learning opportunities across a wide range of subjects including computer science, engineering, digital marketing, data science, social science, mathematics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, business analytics, instructional design, biology, medicine, humanities and business management.
Coursera caters to the learning needs of students and professionals from across the globe. Most learning modules are 100% online, which means people can access top quality education from anywhere in the world.
The inspiration for Coursera came to founders Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng when they were involved in the development of MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) platform at Stanford University. The online learning platform received tremendous response with more than 100,000 people registering for those classes. The founders realized that the idea could be implemented on a much larger scale and should not be confined to university campus. Both non-profit and for-profit models were considered at that time. Eventually, the founders chose a for-profit business model, which they felt will be sustainable in the long-term. After getting the required venture funding, the founders launched Coursera in 2012.
As of now, Coursera offers more than 4,000 courses and has over 56 million learners on its platform. In 2019, Coursera acquired unicorn status with its valuation crossing USD 1 billion. Coursera’s partners include some of the world’s top educational institutes such as Arizona State University, Carnegie Mellon University, Johns Hopkins University, National University of Singapore, Princeton University, Stanford University, and Yale University.
Coursera has received investments worth USD 330 million from nine rounds of funding. Top investors include Kleiner Perkins, Learn Capital, New Enterprise Associates, and SEEK Group.
Coursera had acquired Rhyme Softworks in 2019. A software startup specializing in developing platforms for hands-on projects, Rhyme strengthened Coursera’s capabilities to add customizable assignments in its learning modules.
Coursera competes with other online learning platforms such as Udemy, Lynda, Udacity, edX, and Codeacademy.
About the Founders:
Coursera co-founder Daphne Koller started her career as a professor at Stanford University. She had also worked at Calico Labs as a Chief Computing Officer. At Coursera, she had taken up various roles including CEO, President and co-Chairman. She is currently the founder and CEO of Insitro, a machine learning based drug discovery and development company. Co-founder Andrew Ng currently serves as the Chair of the Coursera Board. Prior to Coursera, he had worked with top tech companies such as Google and Baidu. Andrew has also founded ‘Landing AI’ and currently serves as its CEO.