Last year, did you vow to perfect eggs Benedict or learn a new language? Maybe you set out to be more mindful or perfect your jump shot. When the pandemic began, an increasing number of people turned to online classes, including ones offered by MasterClass.
The San Francisco-based company offers more than 100 online classes taught by industry experts, such as restaurant recipes by Gordon Ramsay, basketball skills by Stephen Curry and business strategy by Bob Iger. Subscribers pay $180 annually for unlimited access to MasterClass’ streaming platform. Each class includes about 20 10-minute lessons, and viewers can learn on their own schedules.
On Thursday, MasterClass announced it raised a $225 million Series F round with big plans to add additional content, expand internationally, launch a B2B line and hire more employees.
“Over the past several years, we have seen a surge in subscriber growth as people are driven to fulfill their desire for lifelong learning outside of the confines of traditional education,” David Rogier, CEO and founder of MasterClass, said in a statement. “MasterClass enables that with our incredible roster of instructors, cinematic production capabilities and singular focus on restoring the joy of learning.”
Subscription growth has led MasterClass to increase its content offerings by more than 90 percent over the last two years. The streaming platform, which currently offers classes in 11 different categories, plans to add new categories and formats soon. MasterClass also plans to expand its courses internationally by offering classes in Spanish, German and French, according to CNBC. For now, all MasterClass classes are offered in English.
Later this year, the company will also launch a B2B line after receiving “strong demand” from small to midsize businesses and large corporations, according to a news release.
To keep up with demand, MasterClass will also use the recent funding to grow its employee base and open an office in Canada, according to the release. MasterClass plans to grow its headcount from about 380 employees to more than 500 later this year, with hiring initiatives already underway. The edtech company is currently hiring 97 people with open positions ranging from content and engineering to data and analytics.
Since launching in 2015, MasterClass has raised more than $475 million, including a $100 million round last year. The recent Series F funding round was led by Fidelity Management & Research Company. Owl Ventures, Baillie Gifford, NEA, Javelin, IVP, Balyasny Asset Management, Eldridge and others also participated in the round.