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Udemy, Inc.
Udemy logo.svg
Udemy screenshot.jpg
Type of businessPrivately held company
Type of site
Online education
Available in
FoundedMay 11, 2010; 11 years ago (2010-05-11)
HeadquartersSan Francisco, California, U.S.
Created by
Key peopleGregg Coccari (CEO)
Employees1,000 [2]
Users40 million[3]
Current statusActive

Udemy, Inc. is an American massive open online course (MOOC) provider aimed at professional adults and students. It was founded in May 2010 by Eren Bali, Gagan Biyani, and Oktay Caglar.

As of April of 2021, the platform has more than 40 million students, 155,000 courses and 70,000 instructors teaching courses in over 65 languages. There have been over 480 million course enrollments. Students and instructors come from 180+ countries and 2/3 of the students are located outside of the U.S.[3]

Students take courses largely as a means of improving job-related skills.[4] 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.[5] As of 2021, there are more than 155,000 courses on the website.[6][3]

The headquarters of Udemy is located in San Francisco, US, with offices in Denver, US; Dublin, Ireland; Ankara, Turkey; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Gurugram, India.[7]


In 2007, Udemy (you-de-mee, portmanteau of you + academy)[8] founders Eren Bali and Oktay Caglar built a software for a live virtual classroom while living in Turkey. They 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.[9]

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.[10] In response to this, they bootstrapped the development of the product and launched Udemy—"The Academy of You"—in May 2010.[10]

Within a few months, 1,000 instructors had created about 2,000 courses, and Udemy had nearly 10,000 registered users. Based on this favorable market reaction, they decided to attempt another round of financing, and raised $1 million in venture funding by August.[11][12]

In October 2011, the company raised an additional $3 million in Series A funding led by Groupon investors Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell, as well as 500 Startups and MHS Capital.[13]

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.[14]

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.[15]

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.[16]

In June 2015, Udemy raised a $65 million Series D financing round, led by Stripes Group. Now Udemy joined another online learning house Skillsdox Inc of Canada to open up School of Skills in India.

In June 2016, Udemy raised $60 million from Naspers Ventures as a follow-up to the $65 million Series D round of financing from June 2015.[17]

On February 5, 2019, Udemy announced that the board of the company appointed Gregg Coccari as its new chief executive officer.[18]

In February 2020, Udemy raised $50 million from long-time partner in Japan, Benesse Holdings, Inc. and announced $2 billion valuation.[19]

In November 2020, Udemy raised $50 million at a $3.25 billion valuation led by Tencent Holdings.[20][21]


Udemy is a platform that allows instructors to build online courses on their preferred topics. Using Udemy's course development tools, they can upload videos, PowerPoint presentations, PDFs, audio, ZIP files and live classes to create courses. Instructors can also engage and interact with users via online discussion boards.[22]

Courses are offered across a breadth of categories, including business and entrepreneurship, academics, the arts, health and fitness, language, music, and technology.[23] Most classes are in practical subjects such as Excel software or using an iPhone camera.[24] Udemy also offers Udemy for Business, enabling businesses access to a targeted suite of over 7,000 training courses[3] on topics from digital marketing tactics to office productivity, design, management, programming, and more. With Udemy for Business, organizations can also create custom learning portals for corporate training.[25]

Courses on Udemy can be paid or free, depending on the instructor.[26] In 2015, the top 10 instructors made more than $17 million in total revenue.[6]

In April 2013, Udemy offered an app for Apple iOS, allowing students to take classes directly from iPhones;[27] The Android version was launched in January 2014.[28] 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.[29] In July 2016, Udemy expanded their iOS platform to include Apple TV.[30] On January 11, 2020, the Udemy mobile app became the #1 top grossing Android app in India.[31]

Massive open online course (MOOC)[edit]

Udemy is part of the growing MOOC movement available outside the traditional university system,[32][33] and has been noted for the variety of courses offered.[34]


Udemy has been mentioned in The New York Times, The China Post, Fast Company, the BBC, YPN[clarification needed] 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."[12][35][36][37][38][39]

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."[40]

In 2020, Udemy Ranked on the Annual ‘Change the World’ List by Fortune Magazine.

Udemy Recognized as a 2021 Bay Area Best Place to Work.

Piracy concerns[edit]

In November 2015, Udemy was accused of publishing and profiting from pirated courses.[41][42][43] The CEO at the time, Dennis Yang, responded to the accusations in a blog post and stated that Udemy did not profit from that instance of piracy.[44]


  1. ^ "Our origins". VentureBeat. 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  2. ^ https://growjo.com/company/Udemy
  3. ^ a b c d "Learn about Udemy culture, mission, and careers | About Us". Udemy About. Retrieved 2020-09-09.
  4. ^ Lomas, Natasha. Online Learning Marketplace Udemy Raises $32M To Scale Up Internationally. TechCrunch. May 8, 2014
  5. ^ Carr, David F. Udemy Comes To Corporate Training Information Week. April 16, 2013
  6. ^ a b Groden, Claire (June 22, 2016). "Udemy's Exodus, Amazon's Gain". Inverse. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  7. ^ https://about.udemy.com/company/
  8. ^ ABCs of Udemy. "Udemy". August 25, 2015.
  9. ^ Eren Bali biography. Udemy.com.
  10. ^ a b How Udemy got oversubscribed. Venture Hacks. September 10, 2010.
  11. ^ Roushe, Wade. Udemy Collects $1 Million to Expand Casual Learning Platform. Xconomy. August 31, 2010.
  12. ^ a b Toto, Serkan. Udemy Scores $1M In Seed Funding, Aims To Democratize Online Learning. TechCrunch. August 31, 2010.
  13. ^ Tsotsis, Alexia. "Crowdsourced Learning Platform Udemy Raises $3 Million From Lightbank And Others". TechCrunch.
  14. ^ Empson, Rip. "Online Learning Marketplace Udemy Lands $12M To Expand Its Course Catalog, Go Cross-Platform". TechCrunch.
  15. ^ Kolodny, Lora. Udemy Appoints Dennis Yang CEO; Eren Bali Steps Aside to Lead Product Venture Dispatch, Wall Street Journal Digital. April 22, 2014
  16. ^ Sailors, John. Udemy raises $32 million for online learning marketplace San Francisco Business Times. May 8, 2014
  17. ^ "Udemy raises $60M from Naspers to grow its online education platform globally". VentureBeat. 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2017-06-01.
  18. ^ "We're Excited to Welcome Gregg Coccari as Our New CEO!". Udemy About.
  19. ^ "Udemy Secures $50 Million Investment from Long-time Partner, Benesse Holdings". Udemy About. 2020-02-21. Retrieved 2020-09-09.
  20. ^ "Udemy bags $50 million in funding". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  21. ^ "Tencent invests in Udemy; leading $50 million round at $3.25 billion valuation". BEAMSTART - Business Community, Resources, & Opportunities. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  22. ^ "Earn money by creating and teaching online courses on Udemy. Reach millions of students around the world". Udemy. Retrieved 2021-02-17.
  23. ^ "Online Courses - Learn Anything, On Your Schedule". Udemy. Retrieved 2021-02-17.
  24. ^ Finder, Alan (September 25, 2013). "A Surge in Growth for a New Kind of Online Course". New York Times. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  25. ^ "Udemy for Business". Udemy.
  26. ^ Empson, Rip. "With Over 6,000 Courses Now Live, Udemy Brings Its Learning Marketplace To iOS To Let You Study On The Go". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  27. ^ Heussner, Ki Mae. "Exclusive: Udemy lands on mobile so students can learn on the go". Gigaom.
  28. ^ Farr, Christina. "Udemy launches its Android app to bring you online education on the go". VentureBeat.
  29. ^ Hockenson, Lauren. "Udemy brings its education marketplace to Android". Gigaom.
  30. ^ "Introducing Udemy for Apple TV". Udemy.
  31. ^ https://flipboard.com/topic/indiamobile/udemy-crosses-tinder-to-become-india-s-top-grossing-android-app/a-Edi8QAUIRKSU0ek4Ycga4w%3Aa%3A878906993-92fd1b03bc%2Fstartupnchill.com
  32. ^ "What You Need to Know About MOOCs". Chronicle of Higher Education.
  33. ^ LEWIN, TAMAR. "Instruction for Masses Knocks Down Campus Walls". New York Times.
  34. ^ Littlefield, Jamie. "Top Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs)". About.com.
  35. ^ Lynley, Matthew. Online Teaching Platform Udemy Raises $1M, Still Too Cool for School. The New York Times. August 31, 2010.
  36. ^ Chapman, Glenn. Online learning startup Free All Programming Courses. The China Post. September 2, 2010.
  37. ^ Schomer, Stephanie. Udemy: A Free University for All. Fast Company. December 2, 2010.
  38. ^ Van Grove, Jennifer. Get a Real-Life Learning Experience in Udemy’s Virtual Classrooms. Mashable. May 13, 2010.
  39. ^ Sumi Das (15 May 2012). "Ivy League education free on the web". BBC Click. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  40. ^ "30 Under 30". Forbes.
  41. ^ "How Udemy Is Profiting From Piracy". Medium. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
  42. ^ Dave Lee (2015-11-30). "Anger at 'stolen' online courses on Udemy". BBC News. Retrieved 2015-12-05.
  43. ^ Amar Toor (2015-11-29). "Udemy faces criticism for profiting from pirated online courses". The Verge. Retrieved 2015-12-05.
  44. ^ "Maintaining the integrity of our Udemy community". Archived from the original on 2015-11-29.

External links[edit]