|Dennis Yang (CEO)|
Udemy.com is a platform or marketplace for online learning. Unlike academic MOOC programs driven by traditional collegiate coursework, Udemy provides a platform for experts of any kind to create courses which can be offered to the public, either at no charge or for a tuition fee. Udemy provides tools which enable users to create a course, promote it and earn money from student tuition charges.
No Udemy courses are currently credentialed for college credit; its students take courses largely as a means of improving job-related skills. 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.
It is reported that Udemy has served over 7 million students, and offers more than 30,000 course alternatives.
In 2007 Udemy 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.
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. In response to this, they bootstrapped the development of the product and launched Udemy—which infers "The Academy of You"—in May 2010.
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. This sum was significantly more than they had originally sought when approaching investors just months earlier.
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.
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, who remains chairman and head of product.
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. 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. Udemy also offers Udemy for Business, enabling businesses access to a targeted suite of over 1,000 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.
Udemy offers paid and free courses, depending on the instructor. Most courses are priced between $29 – $99.
The company's website explains that instructor compensation from tuition varies based on who invests in marketing to attract students to Udemy. Instructors earn 97% of all tuition revenues if the instructor's own reputation or marketing attracts the student. Udemy retains 50% of the earnings if the student is attracted by the site's own marketing or other coursework, and the instructor earns just 25% of the tuition if a Udemy promotional affiliate attracts the student to the site and course. In the latter case, the affiliate earns 50% of the tuition, and the remaining 50% is split between Udemy and the instructor. The site also states that 96% of instructors make sales, averaging $7000.
Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)
Udemy is part of the growing MOOC movement available outside the traditional university system, and has been noted for the variety of courses offered. Notable competitors include Coursera, Lynda, ChalkStreet, Master University, Learnterest, Udacity, edX, Codecademy, and others.
In April 2013, Udemy offered an Apple iOS app, allowing students to take classes directly from smartphones; The Android version was launched in January 2014. 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.
Udemy has been discussed in The New York Times, The China Post, Fast Company, the BBC 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."
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. Udemy became the MOOC platform for the institute's Welch Way courseware in November 2012, and promoted this Jack Welch connection.
UDEMY has recently been rated one of the best learning platform by cloudswave. UDEMY reviews have reached an amazing score of 72 over 100 on the cloudswave score for the year 2015 and have ranked among the best e-learning platform. This score is an aggregation of expert reviews and gives the users the essence of critical opinion.
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