Posted on Wednesday, Jan 21st 2015
Continuing with our discussions on Billion Dollar Unicorn companies, here is another interesting company. Online education-focused player Lynda.com recently became a member of the club when their last round of funding held earlier this month valued them at $1 billion.
Carpinteria, California-based Lynda.com was founded in 1995 by Lynda Weiman and Bruce Heavin. They began as an online support for the books and classes for Lynda, an animator and multi-media professor. Soon they expanded to create an online learning company that could help individuals acquire skills ranging from business management to software, technology, and even creative skills. The courses available on Lynda.com are aimed at helping individuals improve their qualifications for professional and personal growth. Lynda.com has managed to build a strong library of more than 5,700 classes with 255,000 video tutorials in English, French, German, and Spanish.
Besides individuals interested in enhancing their skills, Lynda.com also caters to providing training services to corporates, non-profits, government organizations, schools, and colleges. Their business solution provides organizations with access to on-demand video training so that employees within a team can attend specified courses at their own pace and convenience. For colleges and schools, Lynda.com’s cost-effective video instruction acts as a good supplement to the regular curriculum.
Lynda.com earns revenues through a subscription-based model. Individual membership plans start at a monthly charge of $25 that provide unlimited desktop and mobile access to their entire library along with learning tools such as certificates, transcripts, and playlists. Premium plans are priced at $375 a year and include additional learning tools such as downloadable project files and courses. Enterprise level pricing is available to larger buyers. Lynda.com’s customers include names such as Disney, Apple, and Walmart.
Lynda.com does not disclose their financials, but markets estimate that they are on track to earn revenues of nearly $300 million this year. They are expected to be highly profitable – they have been profitable since 1997.
Lynda.com was bootstrapped till 2013 when the founders sought additional funding. So far, they have raised $289 million in funding from investors including Meritech Capital Partners, Spectrum Equity, Accel Partners, and TPG. Their last round of funding was held earlier this year when they raised $186 million in a round led by TPG at a valuation of $1 billion. Lynda.com plans to use the recently acquired funds for acquisitions. They are well on their way to make it big in the US market for continuing education worth $55 billion.
More investigation and analysis of Unicorn companies can be found in my latest Entrepreneur Journeys book, Billion Dollar Unicorns. Unicorns will also be discussed with some special guests during our 1M/1M Roundtable programs over the next few weeks. To be a part of the conversation, please register here. The term Unicorn was coined in a TechCrunch article by Aileen Lee of Cowboy Ventures.
This segment is a part in the series : Billion Dollar Unicorns
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