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Online educational org Udacity raises $105M from multiple investors

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Online open course provider Udacity has raised $105 million in Series D round of funding led by German media group Bertelsmann along with Baillie Gifford, Emerson Collective and Google Ventures joining as new investors, reports Vccircle. Udacity’s existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Charles River Ventures and Drive Capital also participated in the funding as a part of which Kay Krafft, Bertelsmann CEO will join Udacity’s board.

Founded in 2012 by Sebastian ThrunDavid Stavens and Michael Sokolsky, Udacity provides specialised online courses in software and other vocations through its nanodegree programs (which it introduced last year). The company claims to have trained about 11,000 students from 168 countries last year. Forbes reports that Udacity partnered with Facebook, Cisco and Google to provide individual courses. It adds that Udacity is growing at 30% month on month and is profitable.

Google’s nanodegrees: In September, Google announced IT degrees called Android Nanodegrees and scholarships in partnership with  Udacity and Tata Trusts. As part of the move, Udacity planned to open new offices across India, expand its team and increase partnerships with Indian companies. So far, its seven nanondegrees for front-end Web developer, Android developer, data analyst, iOS developer, intro to programming, full stack developer and tech entrepreneur were free of cost, available worldwide and accepted by IT companies such as Google and Salesforce.

Other developments in online education and MOOCs

– In August, Times Internet entered into a strategic partnership with Coursera, a massive open online courses (MOOCs) company, to ‘assist Coursera’s growth in India’. Times Internet also participated in Coursera’s Series C funding worth $49.5 million which took place on August 25.

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– In April, LinkedIn reportedly acquired online tutorials and training platform Lynda.com for $1.5 billion. Most of Lynda’s team members are expected to join LinkedIn with the latter’s belief that that Lynda.com will help both its users and professionals to accelerate their careers.

– In June, IIM Bangalore (IIM-B) launched a series of free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in partnership with EdX.

– In May, the British Council launched a series of free MOOCs on IELTS and English for teachers and students on the FutureLearn platform. The courses included: Understanding IELTS: Techniques for English Language Tests and Exploring English: Language and Culture. The British Council claimed to have over 400,000 registered users for its MOOCs previously.

– The Delhi University launched a series of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) in January this year. The courses would be free, open and accessible worldwide.

– In December last year, IIT Kanpur was developing its own platform for MOOCs called MOOKIT. Under MOOKIT, the institution will develop MOOCs around verticals like agriculture and computer science among others.

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