MasterClass raises $15 mln Series B round led by NEA

MasterClass, a San Francisco-based online education platform, raised $15 million in a Series B funding round led by New Enterprise Associates Inc. The company also announced a previously undisclosed $4.5 million Series A led by Javelin Venture Partners and two seed rounds totaling $1.9 million both led by Harrison Metal. Other investors include Bloomberg Beta, Novel TMT Ventures, Advancit Capital and others.

PRESS RELEASE

SAN FRANCISCO, FEBRUARY 23, 2016 – MasterClass, the technology platform redefining the digital learning experience by making it possible to learn from the absolute best in the world with online classes taught by Dustin Hoffman, Serena Williams, James Patterson and Usher, today announces a $15 million Series B funding round. This latest round is led by New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA) (Partner: Rick Yang) and reveals a previously undisclosed $4.5 million Series A led by Javelin Venture Partners (Partner: Alex Gurevich) and two seed rounds totaling $1.9 million both led by Harrison Metal (Founder: Michael Dearing).

Other investors include: Bloomberg Beta, Novel TMT Ventures, Advancit Capital, WME Ventures, Downey Ventures, Usher, Yan-David Erlich and Matthew Rutler (MX Investments). The company also announces the official launch of Kevin Spacey’s acting MasterClass and the opening of pre-orders for Christina Aguilera’s singingMasterClass.

The funding will be used to expand the roster of instructors, accelerate class production in new subject areas, grow the MasterClass team and further build upon proprietary technology. Additionally, Rick Yang (Partner at NEA) is joining the Board of Directors with existing board member Alex Gurevich (Partner at Javelin Venture Partners).

“What made us excited about MasterClass very early on was they figured out how to package the knowledge and wisdom of the world’s geniuses across a broad variety of topics, making it accessible to everyone while providing tangible educational value. Nothing can compare to learning from the world’s top masters,” said Alex Gurevich, Partner, Javelin Venture Partners.

“MasterClass has responded to consumer demand for access to high quality content anytime and anywhere and in doing so has attracted students of various skill levels, some of whom have never taken an online class before,” said Rick Yang, Partner, NEA. “The company is bringing elite online education to the mainstream.”

Aguilera, in conjunction with MasterClass’ proprietary technology, will also release “Christina Aguilera’s Vocal Range Finder.” This will allow students to test their vocal range and share the results with peers for an interactive learning experience.

“We want to change what online education looks like,” said Co-Founder, Creative Director, and CTO Aaron Rasmussen. “We’re continually developing and refining our style of online class where you get into the minds of the world’s best and learn to see with their eyes. This new round of funding gives us fuel to capture and create more classes with new, innovative methods.”

“In less than a year the momentum and engagement among users has blown away our expectations,” said Co-Founder and CEO David Rogier.  “It’s extraordinary to see that our completion rates are already higher than that of long-standing online learning platforms. We’re not only changing how people learn, but we’re on our way to building the destination everyone goes to first to learn from the very best. We’re very excited and thankful for all the support we’ve received from Michael Dearing, Alex Gurevich, and Rick Yang.”

About MasterClass:

MasterClass is an online education platform redefining the digital learning experience by bringing world-class experts and renowned instructors to students globally through a cutting-edge technology platform meant to distill knowledge and create meaningful experiences through online video. MasterClass works closely with its instructors including Kevin Spacey, Christina Aguilera, James Patterson, Usher, Annie Leibovitz, and Serena Williams to develop a thoughtful combination of audio, video, interactive assignment and materials, Q&A sessions, peer review, and other learning materials for an immersive experience that’s exclusive to MasterClass.MasterClass was founded by David Rogier and Aaron Rasmussen and is headquartered in San Francisco. To browse current and upcoming classes or to learn more, please visit www.masterclass.com.