NEWS IN ENGLISH | Bertelsmann Increases Stake Significantly in Udacity
Bertelsmann Increases Stake Significantly in Udacity
2016-01-20 12:47:00

Bertelsmann continues to invest in the expansion of its education business. The international media, services and education company has agreed to increase its stake in Udacity, an innovative online learning provider in Silicon Valley. The investment is part of a US$105 million financing round and moves Bertelsmann among the largest shareholders in the company established by Sebastian Thrun in 2011. Udacity will have a post-money valuation of $1.0 billion after the transaction is completed. Bertelsmann first invested in Udacity in September 2014. The investment is subject to customary regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

Bertelsmann Chairman and CEO Thomas Rabe said: "Udacity is shaping the future of education in the technology sector with a great spirit of innovation. As a long-view partner, I am happy that we will be supporting Udacity even more closely in its dynamic development. At the same time, our investment is another step in strengthening the education sector to become the third mainstay of Bertelsmann's business alongside media and services."

Bertelsmann expects to assist the e-learning provider with the internationalization of its activities going forward.

Udacity co-founder and CEO Sebastian Thrun commented: "Demand for employees with IT skills and digital expertise is on the rise at companies around the world. We are grateful for a partner like Bertelsmann, who has an excellent international network and shares our passion for the education business. Together, we will continue to expand our business across the globe in the years ahead to democratize education for everyone."

Kay Krafft, CEO Bertelsmann Education Group, added: "Sebastian Thrun and his team set standards for learning in the digital age. Accordingly, today's increase of our stake in Udacity is a strategic milestone in the expansion of our e-learning business. Udacity and Bertelsmann share the common goal of making education more easily accessible. We will continue to work intensively on achieving this."

Udacity partners with leading technology companies such as Google, Facebook and to develop online education offers. Students can prepare for careers in the technology sector by acquiring certificates specific to their professional field ("Nanodegree" program). The company is backed by leading global investors including
Andreessen Horowitz, Charles River Ventures and Drive Capital.

Bertelsmann is focusing its education activities on online education with a focus on healthcare and technology. The Bertelsmann Education Group, which unites the Group's various education businesses, is expected to generate revenues of around one billion euros in the medium term.

Source: Bertelsmann