Funding Quadruples Company’s Valuation to $3.2 billion and bolsters growth of the global leader in top tier university-based upskilling as demand explodes post-pandemic
Boston, MA – August 12, 2021 – Emeritus, the global leader in making high-quality education accessible and affordable to individuals, companies, and governments around the world, announced today a $650 million funding round, through a mix of primary and secondary funding, which values the company at $3.2 billion, quadrupling its Series D valuation from August, 2020. The investment, led by Accel and SoftBank Vision Fund 2, is one of the largest for an education upskilling company. It also marks Accel’s largest single EdTech investment.
Accel and SoftBank Vision Fund 2 join Emeritus’ returning investors, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Leeds Illuminate and Prosus, who participated in the round, and existing investors, Sequoia Capital India and Bertelsmann. The Series E funding follows Emeritus’ recent $200 million acquisition of iD Tech, the world leader in youth STEM education, which marked Emeritus’ expansion into the K12 space.
Proceeds from the round will be used to develop new courses in conjunction with university partners, create new products and industry verticals, expand the company’s business serving governments and enterprises, double-down on new geographical markets, and fund acquisitions.
“The unbundling of higher education and continued learning has only just started. We have known Ashwin and the team at Emeritus for a number of years and have always been impressed by their approach and execution. We believe that the platform and deep partnerships with the world’s best universities puts Emeritus and its partner universities at the forefront of this revolution in higher education. Their products are helping bring the best quality education to students around the world at affordable prices,” said Anand Daniel, Partner at Accel.
In the last 12 months, Emeritus has grown rapidly around the globe with more than 100% year-on-year growth. The company is on track to realize more than $500 million in bookings this year, making it the fastest growing ed-tech skilling platform. Nearly two-thirds of its paid learner base is located outside the United States, with the company growing more than three times annually in emerging markets.
“Emeritus is truly a global company – from the world class institutions with which we collaborate, to our 1400 person team based in 14 countries, and the learners we educate around the world,” said Ashwin Damera, co-founder and CEO. “This fundraise will help Emeritus continue to expand its mission of making high quality education accessible and affordable to learners across the world.”
Since its founding, Emeritus has built a massive global upskilling platform that prepares today’s professionals for tomorrow’s rapidly-changing workplace, with over 250 professional learning programs developed in partnership with a network of more than 50 top tier universities, and delivered to more than 250,000 individuals across 80+ countries. The company pioneered Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs), creating industry-driven certification programs, professional certificates, and workforce leadership development initiatives in collaboration with its university partners around the world. Emeritus’ programs are defined by personal engagement between faculty and students, course customization, mentoring and coaching, and career counseling. The results are evident in course completion rates of 85% for Emeritus’ professional learners.
“Emeritus partners with top-tier and Ivy League universities to reach new students from around the world,” said Munish Varma, Managing Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers. “The company is helping professional learners upskill themselves on a variety of subjects from the best and the brightest instructors at an affordable price. We look forward to partnering with Ashwin Damera and the Emeritus team to accelerate growth around the world.”
This latest investment in Emeritus supports the vital need to upskill and reskill the global workforce across all sectors coming out of the pandemic. According to the World Economic Forum, such upskilling efforts have the potential to create 5.3 million net new jobs by 2030. Additionally, by 2025, half of all employees around the world will require reskilling. Moreover, the projected growth in key sectors such as health care — projected to grow 14% by 2028 — and technology – projected to grow 31% in the cybersecurity field in the next decade – amplify the demand for reskilling.
Emeritus is committed to teaching the skills of the future by making high-quality education accessible and affordable to individuals, companies, and governments around the world. It does this by collaborating with more than 50 top-tier universities across the United States, Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia, India and China. Emeritus’ short courses, degree programs, professional certificates, and senior executive programs help individuals learn new skills and transform their lives, companies and organizations. Its unique model of state-of-the-art technology, curriculum innovation, and hands-on instruction from senior faculty, mentors and coaches educates more has educated more than 250,000 individuals across 80 countries. Founded in 2015, Emeritus, part of Eruditus Group has more than 1,400 employees globally and offices in Mumbai, New Delhi, Shanghai, Singapore, Palo Alto, Mexico City, New York, Boston, London, and Dubai. Learn more at Emeritus.org and Emeritus LinkedIn.
Accel is a global venture capital firm that is the first partner to exceptional teams everywhere, from inception through all phases of private company growth. Atlassian, Braintree, Cloudera, Crowdstrike, DJI, DocuSign, Dropbox, Etsy, Facebook, Flipkart, Freshworks, Jet, Pillpack, Qualtrics, Slack, Spotify, Supercell, Swiggy, Tenable, UiPath, and Venmo are among the companies Accel has backed over the past 35+ years. We help ambitious entrepreneurs build iconic global businesses. For more, visit www.accel.com or www.twitter.com/accel.
**As of the date of this press release, SoftBank Group Corp. has made capital contributions to allow investments by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 (“SVF 2”) in certain portfolio companies. The information included herein is made for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy limited partnership interests in any fund, including SVF 2. SVF 2 has yet to have an external close, and any potential third-party investors shall receive additional information related to any SVF 2 investments prior to closing.