Drive Capital leads $35 mln Udacity investment

Drive Capital has led a $35 million investment in Udacity, an online learning startup. Drive Capital co-founder Mark Kvamme will join the company’s board of directors.


Drive Capital announced today that it has led a $35 million investment in Udacity — an online learning startup bridging the gap between real-world skills, relevant education and employment. In addition to leading the company’s Series C financing, Drive Capital co-founder Mark Kvamme will join its board of directors.

On a mission to democratize education, Udacity plans to use the funds to focus on nanodegrees, a new type of credential for students to gain skills recognized by employers around the world. The round includes participation from Bertelsmann in Germany, Recruit in Japan and Valor Capital in Brazil. Cox Enterprises also participated in the financing, as well as Andreessen Horowitz and Charles River Ventures who had previously invested in the company.

“As technology continues to disrupt every major industry, companies are becoming more and more hungry for technical talent. Udacity is providing a solution — making education available to anyone, anywhere and helping deliver world-class employees to companies in the Midwest and across the globe,” said Kvamme.

Udacity currently has close to 3 million enrollments from 119 countries for its online classes that are built with industry leaders like Google, Facebook, AT&T, Cloudera and MongoDB, among others. Its classes are available anywhere, on any device, and come with personalized coaching and a project to demonstrate mastery of skills.

“Innovation isn’t limited to Silicon Valley. Thanks to startups from Columbus, Ohio, to Cologne, Germany, industries are being reinvented. As innovation spreads, we’re seeing an increased demand for technical talent. That’s why Udacity wants to make education more accessible and affordable,” explained Sebastian Thrun, Udacity co-founder and CEO.

About Drive Capital

Drive Capital invests in innovative technology, healthcare and consumer companies in the Midwest. The firm looks for innovative entrepreneurs addressing big market opportunities. It aims to partner with founders that have audacious goals and strive to build large sustainable companies.

About Udacity

Udacity’s mission is to bring accessible, affordable, engaging and highly effective learning to the world. The company, headquartered in Silicon Valley, works with industry leaders including AT&T, Google, Facebook, and Cloudera to build technology classes that are designed to advance lifelong learning.