Udemy, the online learning platform, is to get a local presence in India with an employee hub in Gurugram, according to a report in the Economic Times. According to chief executive Gregg Coccari, Udemy’s rapid growth in India is a testimony to the level of demand from students, instructors, and companies for affordable skills training.

India is one of Udemy’s fastest growing markets, accounting for 17.1% of its traffic and second only to the US with 18.6%, according to Alexa, although Alexa isn’t necessarily an accurate indicator of traffic. In India, it will be competing with firms such as Coursera, Byju’s, Simplilearn, Embibe, UpGrad, Unacademy and Udacity, among others. Coursera, Udemy’s global rival, partners with top universities and organizations worldwide to offer traditional academic courses that stick to a tight schedule. It, too, is popular in India, with the country accounting for 18.4% of its traffic – more than any other – according to Alexa. Its courses are taught by professors at well-known universities.

Unlike Coursera, Udemy is less formal and more self-paced. It is designed for specific learning requirements while Coursera is more like a virtual university that teaches traditional subjects. Built on the premise that not all teachers are found in traditional classrooms. Udemy allows experts everywhere to develop courses.

Udemy has a global network of 30 million students and 42,000 teachers. For companies, it offers a subscription to its business courses and a platform to create proprietary courses. Among its business clients are Booking.com, Publicis Sapient, Pinterest and Adidas. Founded in 2010, it is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Denver, Ireland, Turkey, and Brazil.

Online education in India

  • Byju’s: In December 2018 the startup raised $540 million in a round led by Naspers, with participation from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). Byju’s claims to have 30 million registered users, two million annual paid subscriptions and users in more than 1,700 cities in India.
  • Embibe: In April 2018, Reliance Industries acquired a 72.6% stake in AI-based education startup Embibe for $180 million. Embibe had raised $4 million in 2014.
  • In February 2018, HT Media said it was investing CAD$ 10 million (approx Rs 51 crore) in Canada-based edtech startup betterU, which has operations in India and China.
  • Unacademy has raised $38.5 million in investment to date, per CrunchBase. It last raised $21 million in July 2018.
  • MeritNation: In November 2018, InfoEdge increased its stake in MeritNation’s owning company Applect Learning Systems to 65.6%.