Coursera, the massive U.S.-based online open courses (MOOCs) company, has today announced a fresh raised $49.5 million Series C round. The funding round was led by NEA, with participation of Times Internet, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and International Finance Corporation.

The company has also announced it is not closing this funding round yet. It will again raise capital in its current Series C round which will bring the total funding to around $60 million. In the second take, GSV Asset Management and Learn Capital will participate.

As about 75 percent of its learners are from outside of U.S., Coursera needs to expand its availability. Keeping that in mind, it will use the new funds to address “outsized demand for high quality, accessible learning”. The company is now planning to grow its presence in India along with other international markets. It is also looking to improve the way the company does assessments and provide better learner interactions.

Times internet’s involvement hence looks more of a strategic one, apart from the obvious monetary one.

Coursera plans to launch a number of new specializations soon and is looking at new ways to work with industry partners to create courses. It is also planning to use money to test alternative monetization strategies.

As Times Internet has invested in the company, it will be comparatively easy for the company to establish its presence in India considering Times Internet’s massive marketing power its behemothic media portfolio (all those ads around TOI ? Yep, that).

Times will now provide support in operating, strategic and marketing in India. It will also help students and professionals in the discovery of the online courses company.

California-based Coursera was founded in 2012 by Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng. It is an education company which partners with universities and organizations worldwide to offer free massive open online courses (MOOCs).

As per the company, it currently offers 1,100 courses to around 15 million of its users. Coursera’s largest international markets are currently China and India with about 1 million users each, followed by Brazil and Latin America.

Commenting about investment in Coursera, Satyan Gajwani, CEO of Times Internet, said,

Coursera is the gold standard for the emerging wave of education technology companies. We are excited to bring Times Internet’s growth capabilities behind such a strong product.

Till now, the company has raised $134.5 million in 5 funding round from 9 investors. In the space of online courses, Coursera competes with companies like Khan Academy, Udacity and edX.

In India, the Ministry of Human Resources Development (HRD) has launched its own MOOC platform, known as Swayam. However, it is offering only three courses – one from UC Berkeley’s Umesh Vazarani and two from IIT Bombay.


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