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FoundedNovember 2010; 12 years ago (2010-11)
HeadquartersNew York City, New York, U.S.
Area servedWorldwide
Created byMichael Karnjanaprakorn
Malcolm Ong
Key peopleMatt Cooper, CEO
Skillshare previous logo

Skillshare is an online learning community based in the United States for people who want to learn from educational videos.[1][2][3] The courses, which are not accredited, are only available through paid subscription.[4][5]

The majority of courses focus on interaction rather than lecturing, with the primary goal of learning by completing a project. The main course categories include creative arts, design, entrepreneurship, lifestyle and technology.[6]


Michael Karnjanaprakorn and Malcolm Ong started Skillshare in New York City, New York in November 2010; the site was live in April 2011.[7][8] Previously, Karnjanaprakorn led the product team at Hot Potato, a social media product bought by Facebook. Ong was the product manager at OMGPop.[9][10] In August 2011, Skillshare raised $3.1 million in Series A funding led by Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital.[9][11] In late 2013, Skillshare had raised $4.65 million in funding,[12] and $6 million by February 2014, with financing co-led by Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital. Total funding reached $10 million.[13]

Skillshare held the Penny Conference in April 2012, a one-day discussion on the current educational system and how to reform it,[8][14] with Michael Karnjanaprakorn, Codecademy’s co-founder Zach Sims, and Pencils of Promise founder Adam Braun as speakers.[8]

Skillshare launched 15 self-paced, online courses in August 2012,[1][4][15][16][17] with students collaborating to complete a project.[5] By November 2013, it hosted over 250 courses,[12][15] and launched its School of Design.[18]

Skillshare collaborated with Levi's to launch the School of MakeOurMark in October 2013,[19] focusing on individual creativity with courses in photography, tattooing, and various forms of illustration.[19][20]

In March 2014, Skillshare moved to a membership model for $9.95 a month.[21] Later that year, the company announced a new open platform, where anyone could be a course instructor, and a free membership option to watch a limited amount of class content each month.[22]

In May 2016, Skillshare raised $12 million in Series B funding.[23] The company raised a further $28 million in Series C funding in July 2018 ($20 million in equity and $8 million in venture debt).[24]

As of March 2019, Skillshare had over 27,000 premium classes and more than 2,000 free classes available. The platform has introduced the "Groups" feature that allows members to connect with other creators, share work, and take skills to the next level through engaging discussions and prompts.[25]

In September 2021, Skillshare discontinued the option to offer classes for free and required users to have either a paid membership or free trial to access all courses (including classes that were previously available for free).[26]


Skillshare organizes courses into advertising, business, design, fashion and style, film and video, food and drink, music, photography, gaming, technology, and writing and publishing,[27][28] often taught by industry leaders.[28][29] All online courses are self-paced.[1][30]

Notable instructors include Seth Godin (entrepreneurship),[31][32] Jessica Hische (lettering),[33] Susan Orlean (creative non-fiction),[34] Young Guru (audio mixing and recording),[35][36] Yuko Shimizu (inking and drawing techniques),[37] Marc Ecko (entrepreneurship and brand creation),[38][39] Gary Vaynerchuk (social media strategy),[40] Guy Kawasaki (entrepreneurship) and Paula Scher (graphic design).[41]

In June 2018, the company launched Skillshare Originals, a collection of courses produced by the Skillshare's in-house team.[42]


  1. ^ a b c Ryan Lawler (August 7, 2012). "Collaborative Learning Startup Skillshare Launches Hybrid Classes, Letting Anyone Join Online Or Offline". TechCrunch. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  2. ^ Dani Fankhauser (March 1, 2013). "Toasting Success With Skillshare's Co-Founder". Mashable. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  3. ^ Daniel Goodman (May 12, 2012). "This Company Wants You To Get Paid For Teaching In Your Spare Time". Business Insider. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Zoe Fox (August 7, 2012). "Skillshare Goes Global, Launching Hybrid Online-Offline Classes". Mashable. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  5. ^ a b J.J. Colao (August 7, 2012). "Learning By Doing: Skillshare Unveils 'Hybrid' Classes". Forbes. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  6. ^ Kanyi Maqubela (April 11, 2012). "Can Online Education Be Both Successful and Good for Us?". The Atlantic. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  7. ^ Jenna Wortham (August 16, 2011). "Skillshare Raises $3.1 Million to Turn Everyone Into Teachers". The New York Times Bits. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  8. ^ a b c Brian Anthony Hernandez (April 23, 2012). "How Skillshare Is Transforming Education as We Know It". Mashable. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  9. ^ a b Donna Fenn (May 29, 2012). "Skillshare: A New Way to Learn". OPEN forum. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  10. ^ Myles Tanzer (November 14, 2012). "Tech Insurgents 2012: Mike Karnjanaprakorn". Beat Beat. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  11. ^ Diana Ransom (May 15, 2012). "Skillshare and Changing the Way We Learn". Entrepreneur. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  12. ^ a b Erin Griffith (November 5, 2013). "Skillshare has spent the last year quietly transforming itself. It's working". Pando Daily. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  13. ^ Rip Empson (February 28, 2014). "A Year From Launch, Skillshare Lands $6M From USV, Spark To Double Down On Project-Based, Online Classes". TechCrunch. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  14. ^ Allie Mahler (April 24, 2012). "A penny for your thoughts: What we learned at the Skillshare Conference". The Next Web. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  15. ^ a b April Joyner (April 2, 2013). "Skillshare Takes On the Education Gap". Inc. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  16. ^ Ki Mae Heussner (November 28, 2012). "With Skillshare's online classes, instructors get shot at bigger bucks". Gigaom. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  17. ^ Tom Vander Ark (August 30, 2012). "5 Lessons K-12 Could Learn From Skillshare". Getting Smart. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  18. ^ Joseph Flaherty (March 28, 2013). "Can't Afford Art School? Jump Online for a World-Class Education in Design". Wired. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  19. ^ a b Leah Gonzalez (October 1, 2013). "Levi's Hires Creative Experts To Teach Online Classes". PSFK. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  20. ^ "Make Your Mark: Skillshare and Levi Team Up To Teach Creativity". DailyTekk. October 2, 2013. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  21. ^ Farr, Christina (March 19, 2014). "Skillshare Debuts New Spotify-like Membership Model for Online Education". VentureBeat. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
  22. ^ Karnjanaprakorn, Michael. "Introducing Open Skillshare". Skillshare. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  23. ^ Kolodny, Lora (May 26, 2016). "Skillshare books $12 million to take its education platform international". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on December 5, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  24. ^ Harris, Ainsley (July 24, 2018). "Skillshare finds its groove by helping freelancers learn". Fast Company. Archived from the original on July 24, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  25. ^ Lano, Vitaliy (May 5, 2019). "Skillshare Review: Is It Worth It". IMHO Reviews.
  26. ^ "Starting September 15th, 2021, Skillshare will transition away from offering a free class experience". Retrieved November 18, 2021.
  27. ^ "Skillshare – Make Money Teaching What You Know". Work at Home Adventures. April 15, 2013. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  28. ^ a b "Learn Online with Career Step, Lynda, Skillshare and Treehouse". Work From Home. January 9, 2014. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  29. ^ Nitasha Tiku (August 14, 2012). "What to Expect From the New-and-Improved Skillshare? Learning By Doing in a 'Hybrid' Classroom". Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  30. ^ "5 Skillshare Classes We Love". 2930 Creative. October 30, 2013. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  31. ^ "Win a Scholarship for Seth Godin's Skillshare Class". Progress Report. January 13, 2014. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  32. ^ "Let Seth Godin help your business do it right first time: 15% off his 11-part video course". The Next Web. January 15, 2014. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  33. ^ "Jessica Hische: Introduction to Lettering". ADC Young Guns. November 18, 2013. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  34. ^ Greenfield, Rebecca (August 20, 2014). "Can Susan Orlean Teach You To Write Like Susan Orlean?". Fast Company. Fast Company. Retrieved October 8, 2020.
  35. ^ Andres Tardio (August 21, 2013). "Young Guru to Teach $20 Mixing Class Via Skillshare". Hip Hop DX. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  36. ^ Dan Jackson (August 21, 2013). "Young Guru Offers a $20 Mixing Class With Skillshare". XXL Magazine. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  37. ^ "13 best Skillshare classes for designers and artists".
  38. ^ Lauren Nostro (October 3, 2013). "Marc Ecko is Using Biggies "10 Crack Commandments" to Teach a Business Course". Complex Music. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
  39. ^ Yohance Kyles (October 4, 2013). "Biggie's "10 Crack Commandments" Being Used by Marc Ecko to Teach Business". All Hip Hop. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
  40. ^ Nick West. "Resume Booster: How to Officially Claim You're an "Expert in Social Media."". There Are No Roads. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  41. ^ August van de Ven. "Skillshare Review for Designers and Artists". FakeClients. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  42. ^ Burt, Megan (June 12, 2018). "Introducing Staff Picks & Skillshare Originals". Skillshare. Archived from the original on March 15, 2019. Retrieved March 15, 2019.

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