Udemy.com is an online learning platform. It is aimed at professional adults who want to add new skills to their resumes. Unlike academic MOOC programmes driven by traditional collegiate coursework, Udemy provides a platform for experts of any kind to create courses which can be offered to the public, either at no charge or for a tuition fee. Udemy provides tools which enable users to create a course, promote it and earn money from student tuition charges.
No Udemy courses are currently credentialed for college credit; students take courses largely as a means of improving job-related skills. Some courses generate credit toward technical certification. Udemy has made a special effort to attract corporate trainers seeking to create coursework for employees of their company.
In 2010, Udemy was hosting around 400 courses. As of 2016, there are more than 40,000.
In 2007, Udemy founder Eren Bali built software for a live virtual classroom while living in Turkey. He saw potential in making the product free for everyone, and moved to Silicon Valley to found a company two years later. The site was launched by Bali, Oktay Caglar and Gagan Biyani in early 2010.
In February 2010, the founders tried to raise venture capital funding, but the idea failed to impress investors and they were rejected 30 times, according to Gagan Biyani. In response to this, they bootstrapped the development of the product and launched Udemy—"The Academy of You"—in May 2010.
Within a few months, 1,000 instructors had created about 2,000 courses, and Udemy had nearly 10,000 registered users. Based on this favourable market reaction, they decided to attempt another round of financing, and raised $1 million in venture funding by August. This sum was significantly more than they'd originally sought when approaching investors just months earlier.
In December 2012, the company raised $12 million in Series B funding led by Insight Venture Partners, as well as Lightbank Capital, MHS Capital and Learn Capital, bringing Udemy’s total funding to $16 million.
On April 22, 2014, the Wall Street Journal's Digital edition reported that Dennis Yang, Chief Operating Officer of Udemy was named CEO, replacing Eren Bali.
In May 2014, Udemy raised another $32 million in a Series C funding, led by Norwest Venture Partners, as well as Insight Venture Partners and MHS Capital.
In June 2015, Udemy raised a $65 million Series D financing round, led by Stripes Group.Now Udemy joint anther online learning house Skillsdox Inc of Canada to open up School of Skills in India.
In April 2016, Udemy changed their pricing structure to cap all courses at $50. There were mixed feelings as a large number of applauded the efforts to make courses more affordable, while several course creators left for additional platforms.
Udemy serves as a platform that allows instructors to build online courses on topics of their choosing. Using Udemy’s course development tools they can upload video, PowerPoint presentations, PDFs, audio, zip files and live classes to create courses. Instructors can additionally engage and interact with users via online discussion boards.
Courses are offered across a breadth of categories, including business and entrepreneurship, academics, the arts, health and fitness, language, music, and technology. Most classes are in practical subjects such as Excel software or using an iPhone camera. Udemy additionally offers Udemy for Business, enabling businesses access to a targeted suite of over 1,300 training courses on topics from digital marketing tactics to office productivity, design, management, programming, and more. With Udemy for Business, organisations can additionally create custom learning portals for corporate training.
Udemy offers paid and free courses, depending on the instructor.
Instructor compensation from tuition varies based on who invests in marketing to attract students to Udemy. Instructors earn 97 percent of all tuition revenues if the instructor's own reputation or marketing attracts the student. Udemy retains fifty percent of the earnings if the student is attracted by the site's own marketing or additional coursework, and the instructor earns just twenty-five percent of the tuition if a Udemy promotional affiliate attracts the student to the site and course. In the latter case, the affiliate earns fifty percent of the tuition, and the remaining fifty percent is split between Udemy and the instructor. In 2015, the top 10 instructors made more than $17 million in total revenue.
Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)
Udemy is part of the growing MOOC movement available outside the traditional university system, and has been noted for the variety of courses offered.
In April 2013, Udemy offered an Apple iOS app, allowing students to take classes directly from iPhones; The Android version was launched in January 2014. As of January 2014, the iOS app had been downloaded over 1 million times, and 20 percent of Udemy users access their courses via mobile.
Udemy has been discussed in The New York Times, The China Post, Fast Company, the BBC YPN and TechCrunch, with Mashable noting "Udemy offers an experience that rivals the real classroom, and should prove to be a useful utility for teachers and students of all subject matters."
In 2014, Forbes named Udemy cofounder Eren Bali as part of their "30 Under 30" of "the brightest stars in 15 different fields under the age of 30."
Noted businessman Jack Welch has developed an online MBA program, offered through the Jack Welch Management Institute (JWMI) at Strayer University, which acquired JWMI assets in November 2011. Udemy became the MOOC platform for the institute's Welch Way courseware in November 2012, and promoted this Jack Welch connection.
In November 2015, Udemy was accused of publishing and profiting off of pirated courses, although no evidence was provided supporting that Udemy was profiting from this. The CEO, Dennis Yang, answered the accusations in a blog post, looking specifically at one accusation and stating that Udemy didn't profit from that instance of piracy.