Online learning platform Skillshare raises $66 million Series D funding to expand access to creative courses globally
With roughly 75 percent of Americans participating in a creative hobby and an industry valued at $2.25 trillion, creative professionals are looking for resources to meet their needs—whether for personal or professional purposes. Enter Skillshare, a New York City-based online learning community with thousands of inspiring classes for creative and curious people, on topics including illustration, design, photography, video, freelancing, and more.
In May, we wrote about Skillshare when the online learning platform partnered with Codecademy to launch the Learn From Home Club. Today, Skillshare announced it has raised $66 million in Series D funding to further build out its enterprise offering, Skillshare for Teams. The round was led by OMERS Growth Equity. The latest funding comes on the heels of a brand pivot in early 2020 to focus on the creative community.
To date, Skillshare has raised $42 million in capital from Union Square Ventures, Amasia, Burda Principal Investments and Spero Ventures, who all participated in this round. Citigroup served as exclusive financial advisor to Skillshare. In July 2018, we announced a new round of $28 million in financing, and today we’re backed by Union Square Ventures, Spark Capital, Amasia, Spero Ventures, and Burda Principal Investments.
Founded in 2010 by Malcolm Ong and Michael Karnjanaprakorn, the New York-based Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of inspiring classes for creative and curious people, on topics including illustration, design, photography, video, freelancing, and more. With more than 12 million registered members, 8,000 teachers, and over 30,000 video-based classes in a wide range of creative disciplines from graphic design to photography to painting and illustration to interior design, Skillshare has experienced a year of unprecedented growth.
In response to a surge in international demand, the funding will primarily be used to create a localized experience for international students, while continuing to expand domestically, and grow Skillshare’s enterprise offering. The funding will also create more opportunities for Skillshare’s teachers. Skillshare will invest in tools that increase engagement between students and teachers, expand teachers’ audiences through dedicated marketing efforts, and create new formats for teachers to earn revenue.
“While the world faces an extended period of uncertainty, creativity will be at the heart of the global rebuild,” said CEO Matt Cooper. “Our shift as a business earlier this year has uniquely positioned us to meet that need and resulted in incredible growth, deeper user engagement and interest from new partners during a time where creativity is more important than ever. The impact of social distancing on our mental and emotional wellbeing is profound, and people today are in need of authentic human connection, supportive communities, and creative outlets. At the same time, during recessions and economic downturns, companies perform better because they invest in skills that allow room for ideas and innovation. Skillshare is meeting this demand for both personal and professional growth through creativity.”