If you're an e-learning geek, you might have heard about Udemy as it is the leading online learning platform. If you didn't know about Udemy before, it's the biggest marketplace where you can buy online courses and start learning online easily.
As of May 2015, there are over 6 millions students world wide who have joined Udemy. There are over 25,000 courses featured on their website.
According to Crunchbase ; Eren Bali, Gagan Biyani, Oktay Cagla are the founders of Udemy. Started back in 2010, it is a company that aims to change how people learn. They wanted to create the best online education platform and make it usable & accessible to anyone. The company set itself as the global marketplace for learning and teaching online.
According to this topic at Quora, Gagan Biyani said that they started by collecting legally obtained educational videos from various universities and posted them on Udemy.
However, to make money, this e-learning website needed to have a great collection of potential courses that produce sales. Gagan Biyani stated that he had tried to convince book authors, professors, and famous public speakers to start creating courses – but the format for an online course was foreign to them; they wanted to keep writing books and doing public talks.
Even after all the hard work, there are willing instructors who are starting to create online courses for Udemy and that is where their success begins. That's when instructors start earning great amounts of revenue.
“We had proven the value of teaching a course in the first place. We then went to some experts in programming, technology, and entrepreneurship and convinced them to teach courses. These are the same people we talked to 6 months prior, but this time we had proof that you could be successful on Udemy. It was enough to convince 2 more instructors to join – Zed Shaw and Bess Ho. They were more successful than our previous instructors, so we convinced 5-10 more to join that summer.”,say Gagan Biyani
Read more about their announcement on The Top 10 Earning Instructors on Udemy in 2012 here;
After publishing a large collection of online education courses, and having a success story to share, the team took the leap by raising $1M fund to expand their growth. Read The Udemy Fundraising Story here. After a series of fund raising, the company had become phenomenal in the e-learning industry and currently have more than 6 million students worldwide.
In February 2015, the company reveals Top Udemy Instructors Continue to Crack Major Earnings Threshold saying that its top 10 instructors have earned $17 million. The earnings range from $500,000 to more than $8 million. Read the full article here.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Udemy CEO Dennis Yang said that after 5 years of its establishment, they have noticed that even if someone already possesses an educational degree, it doesn't mean that they should stop learning. People should consider lifelong learning because the world has been revolving so fast. This will help them stay in a current track and grow in their career.
Yang continued to say that the company got millions of students all around the world, featuring over 25,000 courses and teaching in 80+ languages. And it's quite interesting that two third of the students are outside of the US. But as most of the courses are taught in English, the strong growth countries are English speaking countries like UK, Australia, Canada, India and Singapore.
According to the company, it says that Udemy is funded by: Insight Venture Partners, Lightbank, MHS Capital, 500 Startups and other investors who previously foresaw the internet giants like: YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Groupon and Yelp. Udemy is headquartered in San Francisco, California and has offices in Dublin, Ireland and Ankara, Turkey.
Even though it was launched in 2010, I hadn't heard about their existence until April 2013. That's when I bought a course from them in order to learn about E-book publishing. It's been 2 years since I've known Udemy and I still log into their website. I explore and buy new courses from time to time. There are many reasons to keep me coming back to this website.
Generally, there are two types of courses hosted on Udemy's website. Free courses and paid courses (premium courses).
Apart from free courses, the paid courses are the essence of Udemy, where they are making money. They help instructors gain revenue. They also help students obtain learning skills that they would like to improve on or even new ones they would like to explore. By default, if you visit Udemy.com, you will see a collection of great online courses with full prices. If you want to save some money, you have to find a valid Udemy coupon code to purchase each course at a discounted price.
Those courses that I have mentioned earlier are public courses where anyone can join by purchasing or entering a coupon code to get access. However, there are some private courses that won't let anyone to get in. Only invited students are allowed to get access. Or you will have to send a request for invitation. In some cases, there are courses that the instructor will set a password and create a unique coupon for each student to get access to those courses.
We have seen that Udemy is obviously successful in serving e-learning for indivual learners. On an organizational scale, Udemy is also utilizing their e-learning platform for a company that would wanted to create private training for their employees. It's called Udemy for Business. It is a platform that allows a company to customize a their private learning destination for their staff. The company can customize a private and secure portal with their company's logo, browser icon, and custom background image.
By joining the Udemy for Business program, their staff are elgible to get access to a selective course library with over 1000 high-quality business courses taught by the world's leading experts and institutions.
Their private training will never be shared within the Udemy marketplace. Thusly, other Udemy students won't get into their private courses. Hence, the company will be able to track employee progress & course performance using the Udemy analytics tool.