Online education service Coursera has its eye on global expansion with a new funding, raising $49.5 million of an expected $60 million round that it expects to complete in the fall.
The Mountain View company co-founded by President Daphne Koller and Chairman Andrew Ng said the round was led by one of its early backers, New Enterprise Associates. Others participating include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, International Finance Corporation and Times Internet Limited — a subsidiary of Bennett, Coleman and Company Limited.
Coursera also said GSV Asset Management and Learn Capital will be involved in the fall funding.
The funding comes amid a resurgence in investment in online education. San Francisco-based Udemy raised $65 million in June, LinkedIn bought Lynda.com for $1.5 billion in April, San Francisco-based BrightBytes raised $33 million last month and Google announced a partnership with Udacity.
Early enthusiasm for the sector was dimmed by data showing that while many students were enrolling for online classes, few completed their courses. So Coursera and others in the field have shifted their focus to training for specific skills needed in the workplace and providing certificates for those who complete their instruction.
Coursera, which already gets 75 percent of its business from outside the United States, said it will use the new funding to grow even more in Latin America, China and India. The three-year-old company offers 1,100 courses to about 15 million learners worldwide.
It has now raised approximately $135 million in funding to date.
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