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Coursera, Inc.
Coursera-Logo 600x600.svg
Coursera homepage.png
Coursera's homepage in March 2020
Type of businessPrivately held company
Type of site
Online education
Available inMultilingual (40)
HeadquartersMountain View, California, U.S.
Area servedWorldwide
Founder(s)Andrew Ng
Daphne Koller
Key peopleJeff Maggioncalda[1][2][3]
RevenueIncrease $140 Million (2018)[4]
Employees1,792 (June 2020) Edit this at Wikidata
Users73 million[5]
LaunchedApril 2012; 8 years ago (2012-04)
Current statusActive

Coursera (/kərˈsɛrə/) is an American massive open online course provider founded in 2012 by Stanford University's computer science professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller.

Coursera works with universities and other organizations to offer online courses, certifications, and degrees in a variety of subjects.



Coursera was founded in 2012[6] by Stanford University computer science professors Andrew Ng[7] and Daphne Koller.[8] Ng and Koller started offering their Stanford courses online in fall 2011,[9] and soon after left Stanford to launch Coursera. Princeton, Stanford, the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania were the first universities to offer content on the platform.[10] Offerings have since expanded to include Specializations – collections of courses that build skills in a specific subject – as well as degrees and a workforce development product for businesses and government organizations.


The startup raised an initial $16 million funding round backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and New Enterprise Associates. In 2013, the World Bank Group led the Series B investment, which totaled $63 million. In 2015, EDB Investments led the Series C round of venture funding, which totaled more than $60 million. In 2017, the company raised $64 million from its existing investors in Series D round of funding.[11] In 2019, the company raised $103 million in Series E round of funding from the SEEK Group, Future Fund and NEA.[12] The company reached valuation of $1 billion+ in 2019. In July 2020, the company announced it had raised $130 million in Series F funding and updating its valuation to $2.5 billion.[13]

Strategic partners[edit]

As of December 2019, the total number of partners is more than 200 across 29 countries. Coursera mainly works with universities and colleges, but also with corporations[14]) and governments. University partners include University of São Paulo in Brazil,[15] University of London[16] in the UK, Indian School of Business of India,[17] Yonsei University in Korea,[18] and institutions like Yale,[19] University of Illinois and University of Pennsylvania.[20]

Product and services[edit]


Coursera courses last approximately four to twelve weeks, with one to two hours of video lectures a week. These courses provide quizzes, weekly exercises, peer-graded and reviewed assignments, an optional Honors assignment and sometimes a final project or exam to complete the course.[21] Courses are also provided on-demand, in which case users can take their time in completing the course with all of the material available at once. As of May 2015, Coursera offered 104 on-demand courses it also provides guided projects which are short 2-3 hour projects that can be done. And it can be done at home.

As of 2017, Coursera offers full master's degrees. They first started with Master's in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OMIE) from HEC Paris and Master's of Accounting (iMSA) from the University of Illinois, but have moved on to offer Master of Computer Science in Data Science and Master of Business Administration (iMBA), both from University of Illinois.[22] Also as part of MBA; there are some courses are offered separately and will be included in the curriculum of MBA when being enrolled in like digital marketing courses.

In 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Coursera launched a course by the Jameel Institute at Imperial College London.[23] Called "Science Matters: Let's Talk About COVID-19", the course was the most popular launched on Coursera in 2020, with over 130,000 enrolled learners that year.[24] The course was presented by Jameel Institute research lead Professor Helen Ward and deputy director Dr Katharina Hauck, with specific modules in collaboration with other researchers from across Imperial.[25]

Business model[edit]

In September 2013, it announced it had earned $1 million in revenue through the sale of verified certificates that authenticate successful course completion.[26] Coursera first rolled out a series of fee-based course options, which included verified credentials for completion, in 2013.[27] As of October 2015, the company had raised a total of $146.1 million in venture capital.[28]

In January 2016, Coursera rolled out fees to earn grades and assessment for "the vast majority of courses that are part of Specializations."[29] The company offers Financial Aid to people who demonstrate a need.[30]

In July 2016, the company launched an enterprise product called Coursera for Business. TechCrunch notes that the company, "opened itself to additional revenues from the lucrative corporate e-learning market, which some reports suggest was worth $12 billion in the US alone."[31] Coursera for Business customers include L’Oréal, Boston Consulting Group, and Axis Bank.

In October 2016, Coursera launched a monthly subscription model for Specializations along with a 1 week free trial. The company has said subscription costs will vary, "depending on the topic area."[32]

In January 2017, the company launched Coursera for Governments & Nonprofits. Coursera has announced partnerships with the Institute for Veterans & Military Families (IVMF) in the United States and entities in Egypt, Mongolia, Singapore, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Kazakhstan.[33] In June 2017, Jeff Maggioncalda became the CEO of Coursera.[34][35][36]

In March 2018, Coursera launched six fully online degree courses including the bachelor's and master's qualifications in various domains.[37]



  1. ^ Das, Sejuti (2020-08-12). "IIT Roorkee Partners With Coursera To Offer AL, ML & Data Science Online Programs". Analytics India Magazine. Retrieved 2020-08-25.
  2. ^ "Sherry Coutu and Coursera step in to upskill UK's digital laggards". Sifted. Retrieved 2020-08-25.
  3. ^ Geron, Tomio (2020-07-28). "Jobless Workers Fuel Surge in Demand for Startups Offering Retraining". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-08-25.
  4. ^ Adams, Susan. "Online Education Provider Coursera Is Now Worth More Than $1 Billion". Forbes.
  5. ^ "About Coursera". Coursera. Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  6. ^ Tamar Lewin (17 July 2012). "Universities Reshaping Education on the Web". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  7. ^ Quora. "Coursera Co-Founder Andrew Ng: AI Shouldn't Be Regulated As A Basic Technology". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
  8. ^ NPR Staff (30 September 2012). "Online Education Grows Up, And For Now, It's Free Listen·18:14". NPR. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  9. ^ Staff (August 2012). "Teaching the World: Daphne Koller and Coursera". IEEE. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  10. ^ Waters, Audrey (18 April 2012). "Coursera, the Other Stanford MOOC Startup, Officially Launches with More Poetry Classes, Fewer Robo-Graders". Hacked Education. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  11. ^ "Online learning startup Coursera raises $64M at an $800M valuation". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2020-01-24.
  12. ^ "Online learning startup Coursera picks up $103M, now valued at $1B+". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2020-01-24.
  13. ^ Adams, Susan (17 July 2020). "Online Learning Platform Coursera Raises $130 Million At Reported $2.6 Billion Valuation". Forbes.
  14. ^ "IT Support Professional Certificate". Grow With Google. Retrieved 2020-07-07.
  15. ^ Heim, Anna (4 October 2014). "September in Latin America: All the tech news you shouldn't miss from the past month". The Next Web. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  16. ^ Staff (19 August 2016). "New IoT and Embedded Systems courses launched on Coursera". eCampusNews. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  17. ^ Dasgupta, Brinda (9 June 2016). "Coursera and ISB launch series of investment management courses". The Economic Times. Mumbai. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  18. ^ Fairhead, Harry Connolly (12 October 2016). "Online Training For IoT Development". I-Programmer. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  19. ^ Martell, Bess Connolly (22 February 2016). "School of Music launches 'Music and Social Action' Coursera course". Yale News. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  20. ^ DQIndia Online (17 August 2016). "Coursera partners with U.S. Department of State and University of Pennsylvania". DataQuest. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  21. ^ Kamenetz, Anya (2012-08-08). "How Coursera, A Free Online Education Service, Will School Us All | Fast Company | Business + Innovation". Fast Company. Retrieved 2014-04-19.
  22. ^ Sinha, Nikhil (12 March 2017). "Coursera Launches Two New Master's Degrees from HEC Paris and the University of Illinois". Coursera. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  23. ^ "COVID19: Imperial launches free online course exploring science behind outbreak | Imperial News | Imperial College London". Imperial News. Retrieved 2020-11-18.
  24. ^ "Free COVID-19 online course re-launches to learners worldwide | Imperial News | Imperial College London". Imperial News. Retrieved 2020-11-18.
  25. ^ "Science Matters: Let's Talk About COVID-19". Coursera. Retrieved 2020-11-18.
  26. ^ Heussner, Ki Mae (12 September 2013). "Coursera hits $1M in revenue through verified certificates". Gigaom. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  27. ^ Fain, Paul (9 January 2013). "Paying for Proof". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  28. ^ Staff (9 January 2013). "Coursera: CNBC Distruptor". CNBC. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  29. ^ Staff (25 January 2016). "Coursera to Charge Fees for Previously Free Courses". EdSurge. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  30. ^ Staff (20 June 2016). "IIE to Connect Refugee Students with Online Courses through New Coursera for Refugees Program". Institute of International Education. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  31. ^ Sawers, Paul (31 August 2016). "Coursera for Business launches to tap the billion-dollar corporate e-learning market". VentureBeat. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  32. ^ Kuchler, Hannah (31 October 2016). "Education start-up Coursera shifts to monthly subscriptions". Financial Times. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  33. ^ Sawers, Paul (24 January 2017). "Coursera for governments and nonprofits launches to 'close the growing skills gap'". VentureBeat. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  34. ^ Korn, Melissa (2017-06-13). "Coursera Names Financial Engines Ex-CEO Jeff Maggioncalda as New Leader". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2017-06-15.
  35. ^ "Coursera gets a new CEO: former Financial Engines CEO Jeff Maggioncalda replaces Rick Levin". VentureBeat. 2017-06-13. Retrieved 2017-06-15.
  36. ^ "Coursera hires CEO who helped his last company go public". Retrieved 2017-06-15.
  37. ^ News, The PIE. "Coursera joins ranks of online degree expansionists with six new degrees". Retrieved 2018-07-02.
  38. ^ In March 2021, Coursera has filed for an IPO.

External links[edit]