After completing a new funding round, online education firm Udacity is now worth $1 billion thanks to raising a $105 million Series D round of funding. This catapults Sebastian Thrun’s online vocational training startup to Unicorn status–meaning that they are valued at over $1 billion. The new funding round was led by media firm Bertelsmann. New Udacity investors also include Google Ventures.
The announcement was made via a blog post that also touted Udacity’s “nanodegree” program. In a response to the problems of monetizing online learning, Udacity is increasingly positioning themselves as a way for knowledge sector workers to quickly acquire new job skills. Popular nanodegrees center around mobile app development and web development. As such, the company had over 11,000 students in 168 countries last year.
In an email to Fast Company, Udacity executive advisor Shernaz Daver said that the funding round will primarily be used to expand the company’s presence in international markets and to expand their nanodegree programs. Udacity plans to open additional offices (they currently have presences in India and China) with the funding, and to have 45-50 nanodegree programs offered over the next year, but did not specify in which areas.