Wiretap: Udemy lands $12 million as online-education arms race continues

It’s been a busy year in the online education space. With Mountain View’s Khan Academy getting love from everybody from Bill Gates to Lebron James, we’ve seen a land rush from big universities (Harvard and MIT launching edX); Stanford professors launching fast-growing Coursera; and Flip Video co-founder Ariel Braunstein cooking up video-instruction hub Knowmia. It’s enough to make you never want to set foot again in an actual classroom.

Friday was Udemy’s day in the spotlight. The San Francisco startup announced a $12 million round of funding led by Insight Venture Partners. It’s the second infusion of venture money for the two-year-old “online learning marketplace,” which says it added more than 400 courses in October alone on technical, academic and “lifestyle” topics.

One minor gripe, though: If you’re gonna start an education startup, can’t its name be an actual word? Udemy, Knowmia, Coursera – they sound like something your grandmother would try to slip past you during a game of Scrabble. Or maybe, Words With Friends.



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