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Udemy, Inc.
Udemy screenshot.jpg
Available inEnglish French Spanish Turkish Portuguese German
FoundedMay 11, 2010; 9 years ago (2010-05-11)
Created by
Key peopleGregg Coccari (CEO)
Alexa rankIncrease166 (September 2019)
Current statusActive

Udemy.com is an online learning platform aimed at professional adults and students.

Udemy, a portmanteau of you + academy, has more than 30 million students and 50,000 instructors teaching courses in over 60 languages. There have been over 245 million course enrollments. Students and instructors come from 190+ countries and 2/3 of students are located outside of the U.S. Udemy also has over 4,000 enterprise customers and 80% of Fortune 100 companies use Udemy for employee upskilling (Udemy for Business). Students take courses largely as a means of improving job-related skills.[2] 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.[3]

As of 2019, there are more than 130,000 courses on the website.[4]


In 2007, Udemy (you-de-mee)[5] 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.[6]

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.[7] In response to this, they bootstrapped the development of the product and launched Udemy—"The Academy of You"—in May 2010.[7]

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.[8][9]

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.[10]

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.[11]

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.[12]

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.[13]

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.[14]

On February 5, 2019, Udemy announced that the board of the company has appointed Gregg Coccari as its new chief executive officer.[15]


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.[citation needed] Instructors can also 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.[citation needed] Most classes are in practical subjects such as Excel software or using an iPhone camera.[16] Udemy also offers Udemy for Business, enabling businesses access to a targeted suite of over 3,000 training courses 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.[17]

Udemy offers paid and free courses, depending on the instructor.[18] In 2015, the top 10 instructors made more than $17 million in total revenue.[4]

In April 2013, Udemy offered an app for Apple iOS, allowing students to take classes directly from iPhones;[19] The Android version was launched in January 2014.[20] 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.[21] In July 2016, Udemy expanded their iOS platform to include Apple TV.[22]

Massive open online course (MOOC)[edit]

Udemy is part of the growing MOOC movement available outside the traditional university system,[23][24] and has been noted for the variety of courses offered.[25]


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."[9][26][27][28][29][30]

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."[31]

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.[32] Udemy became the MOOC platform for the institute's Welch Way courseware in November 2012, and promoted this Jack Welch connection.[33]

Piracy concerns[edit]

In November 2015, Udemy was accused of publishing and profiting from pirated courses.[34][35][36] 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.[37]


  1. ^ "Our origins". VentureBeat. 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  2. ^ Lomas, Natasha. Online Learning Marketplace Udemy Raises $32M To Scale Up Internationally. TechCrunch. May 8, 2014
  3. ^ Carr, David F. Udemy Comes To Corporate Training Information Week. April 16, 2013
  4. ^ a b Groden, Claire (June 22, 2016). "Udemy's Exodus, Amazon's Gain". Inverse. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  5. ^ ABCs of Udemy. "Udemy". August 25, 2015.
  6. ^ Eren Bali biography. Udemy.com.
  7. ^ a b How Udemy got oversubscribed. Venture Hacks. September 10, 2010.
  8. ^ Roushe, Wade. Udemy Collects $1 Million to Expand Casual Learning Platform. Xconomy. August 31, 2010.
  9. ^ a b Toto, Serkan. Udemy Scores $1M In Seed Funding, Aims To Democratize Online Learning. TechCrunch. August 31, 2010.
  10. ^ Tsotsis, Alexia. "Crowdsourced Learning Platform Udemy Raises $3 Million From Lightbank And Others". TechCrunch.
  11. ^ Empson, Rip. "Online Learning Marketplace Udemy Lands $12M To Expand Its Course Catalog, Go Cross-Platform". TechCrunch.
  12. ^ Kolodny, Lora. Udemy Appoints Dennis Yang CEO; Eren Bali Steps Aside to Lead Product Venture Dispatch, Wall Street Journal Digital. April 22, 2014
  13. ^ Sailors, John. Udemy raises $32 million for online learning marketplace San Francisco Business Times. May 8, 2014
  14. ^ "Udemy raises $60M from Naspers to grow its online education platform globally". VentureBeat. 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2017-06-01.
  15. ^ "We're Excited to Welcome Gregg Coccari as Our New CEO!". Udemy About.
  16. ^ Finder, Alan (September 25, 2013). "A Surge in Growth for a New Kind of Online Course". New York Times. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  17. ^ "Udemy for Business". Udemy.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ Heussner, Ki Mae. "Exclusive: Udemy lands on mobile so students can learn on the go". Gigaom.
  20. ^ Farr, Christina. "Udemy launches its Android app to bring you online education on the go". VentureBeat.
  21. ^ Hockenson, Lauren. "Udemy brings its education marketplace to Android". Gigaom.
  22. ^ "Introducing Udemy for Apple TV". Udemy.
  23. ^ "What You Need to Know About MOOCs". Chronicle of Higher Education.
  24. ^ LEWIN, TAMAR. "Instruction for Masses Knocks Down Campus Walls". New York Times.
  25. ^ Littlefield, Jamie. "Top Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs)". About.com.
  26. ^ Lynley, Matthew. Online Teaching Platform Udemy Raises $1M, Still Too Cool for School. The New York Times. August 31, 2010.
  27. ^ Chapman, Glenn. Online learning startup rises on US$1 mil. funding from 'angel' investors. The China Post. September 2, 2010.
  28. ^ Schomer, Stephanie. Udemy: A Free University for All. Fast Company. December 2, 2010.
  29. ^ Van Grove, Jennifer. Get a Real-Life Learning Experience in Udemy’s Virtual Classrooms. Mashable. May 13, 2010.
  30. ^ Sumi Das (15 May 2012). "Ivy League education free on the web". BBC Click. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  31. ^ "30 Under 30". Forbes.
  32. ^ Eckert, Barton. Strayer Education buys Jack Welch Management Institute Washington Business Journal, November 11, 2001.
  33. ^ The Jack Welch Management Institute and Udemy Join Forces to Deliver Online Management Training Courses AVFN.com.
  34. ^ "How Udemy Is Profiting From Piracy". Medium. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
  35. ^ Dave Lee (2015-11-30). "Anger at 'stolen' online courses on Udemy". BBC News. Retrieved 2015-12-05.
  36. ^ Amar Toor (2015-11-29). "Udemy faces criticism for profiting from pirated online courses". The Verge. Retrieved 2015-12-05.
  37. ^ "Maintaining the integrity of our Udemy community". Archived from the original on 2015-11-29.