New capital will fund growth of subscription offering, expansion of class catalogue into new categories, and continued innovation to enhance the MasterClass student experience
San Francisco, CA — September 6, 2018 – Today MasterClass, the online education company that enables anyone to learn from the best in the world, announced that it raised $80 million in Series D funding led by current investor IVP, with participation from NEA, Javelin Ventures, and Advancit Capital, as well as new investors Atomico and Evolution Media (a joint fund from CAA and TPG). Roseanne Wincek of IVP will join the board of directors. MasterClass will deploy the capital to fuel its rapidly growing subscription business, expand internationally, broaden class offerings into new categories such as business and politics, and introduce new ways to learn on its platform.
“Educational systems, both online and off, have largely avoided recruiting those who have reached the top of their fields to be teachers because they didn’t think it could be done, and if it could, it wouldn’t be done well,” said David Rogier, co-founder and CEO of MasterClass. “It’s a loss for humanity to miss out on learning from the masters among us. Early online education platforms tried to copy the physical classroom. That does not work. People who are out in the world perfecting their craft can’t teach in the traditional system. The problem isn’t the people, it’s the system — so we are changing the system.”
MasterClass launched in 2015 with three classes; and in three years, the company has grown its offering to 39 classes from the world’s greatest minds in film and television, cooking, photography, sports, writing, science, and more. In 2018, MasterClass added classes with Spike Lee (filmmaking), Judd Apatow (comedy), and Margaret Atwood (creative writing), among others, and expanded into new categories with classes from Chris Hadfield (space exploration), and Daniel Negreanu, whose poker class officially launched today. The company has a robust pipeline of new classes and categories set to launch through the end of this year, which will bring its growing catalogue to more than 50 classes, with more than a thousand lessons.
In November 2017, MasterClass launched a subscription offering with the introduction of the All-Access Pass, allowing unlimited access to its entire catalog of classes for $180 per year. In less than a year, All-Access Pass subscriptions have grown to account for 80 percent of the company’s sales. MasterClass will continue to focus on the growth of its subscription business by rolling out a more personalized learning experience, and introducing new ways to access its classes, including its recently launched Android app, available on Google Play.
“Most online education companies take the model of offline education, which was created to increase scale, and put it on the internet, which already has scale. MasterClass has gone back to the first principles of education: a master passing a lifetime of work, learning, and accomplishment to a student,” said Roseanne Wincek, investor at IVP. “By providing access to the very best in their field, MasterClass allows anyone to learn from a lifetime of first-hand knowledge and mastery. We continue to be impressed by the team’s vision and drive, the company’s execution, and the impact MasterClass has on its student’s lives. We have such high conviction about this company and its mission, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to double down on MasterClass.”
MasterClass provides educational, inspiring, and engaging classes taught by the world’s greatest minds. With 39 classes that dive into processes, techniques and philosophies, MasterClass helps students progress more rapidly towards their own mastery, explore a new passion, or learn a new skill. It offers a unique learning experience, including video lessons, interactive exercises, course materials, peer interaction, and more. All classes are available as part of an annual subscription for $180, or for individual purchase at $90 for lifetime access to the class, and can be accessed online at www.masterclass.com or on the MasterClass mobile app for iOS and Android.
Founded in 2015, MasterClass started with the idea that everyone should have “access to genius.” The premier online education platform provides affordable, engaging, and inspirational online classes taught by world-renowned instructors, making it possible for anyone to learn from the best.
MasterClass’ current roster of courses includes:
Culinary Arts: Gordon Ramsay (cooking), Alice Waters (home cooking), Thomas Keller (cooking technique), Wolfgang Puck (cooking)
Film and Television: Werner Herzog (filmmaking), Martin Scorsese (filmmaking), Ron Howard (directing), Helen Mirren (acting), Samuel L. Jackson (acting), Judd Apatow (comedy), Spike Lee (filmmaking), Ken Burns (documentary filmmaking)
Music & Entertainment: Armin van Buuren (dance music), Christina Aguilera (singing), Usher (performance), Reba McEntire (country music), Herbie Hancock (jazz), Deadmau5 (music production), Hans Zimmer (film scoring), Steve Martin (comedy)
Writing: James Patterson (writing), Aaron Sorkin (screenwriting), Shonda Rhimes (writing for television), David Mamet (dramatic writing), Bob Woodward (investigative journalism), Judy Blume (writing), Malcolm Gladwell (writing), Margaret Atwood (creative writing)
Design, Photography, and Fashion: Annie Leibovitz (photography), Frank Gehry (architecture), Diane von Furstenberg (how to build a fashion brand), Marc Jacobs (fashion design)
Sports and Games: Serena Williams (tennis), Stephen Curry (shooting, ball-handling, and scoring), Garry Kasparov (chess), Daniel Negreanu (poker)
Politics & Society: Jane Goodall (conservation)
Science: Chris Hadfield (space exploration)
For more information, please visit www.masterclass.com.