Coursera, the online learning platform founded by Stanford computer science professors Daphne Koller Ph.D. ’94 and Andrew Ng, recently raised $43 million in venture capital funding, as the firm prepares to double its employees and expand into international and mobile markets.
Coursera, which has attracted more than 4 million student signups in less than two years, gained funding principally from specialized education technology venture capital firms, while also receiving backing from entities like the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation.
“We hope it’s enough money to get us to profitability,” Koller told The New York Times. “We haven’t really focused yet on when that might be.”
While Coursera has enjoyed exceptional popularity and growth during its short life, expanding from four university partners in April 2012 to 83 educational institutions across four continents today, its rise — and that of other massive open online course (MOOC) platforms — has also prompted concerns about the potential loss of classroom interaction and MOOC platforms’ disruptive impact on the traditional model of higher education.