MasterClass announced today that it has raised $15 million in a Series B financing round led by New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA).
The online education platform — which features video classes from a mix of actors, musicians, athletes, writers and experts from other disciplines including Dustin Hoffman (below), Serena Williams, James Patterson, Annie Liebowitz and Usher — also revealed 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.
The announcement coincides with the official launch of Kevin Spacey’s acting MasterClass (below) and the opening of pre-orders for Christina Aguilera’s singing MasterClass.
The cash will be used to expand the roster of instructors, accelerate class production in new subject areas, grow the MasterClass team and further build out its proprietary technology. The latest funding round will also have NEA partner Rick Yang joining the board of directors alongside pre-existing board member Alex Gurevich, a partner at Javelin Venture Partners.
Based in San Francisco, MasterClass was founded by David Rogier and Aaron Rasmussen in May 2015. The company uses data analytics and machine learning to optimize lesson plans developed individually by each instructor to reflect their unique approach to their craft, then engages a team of Emmy and Oscar-winning to pros produce the videos based. Priced at $90, each MasterClass includes 10–25 video lessons, interactive exercises, learning materials and workbooks, which are available to stream across a multitude of platforms
“We want to change what online education looks like,” said MasterClass co-founder, creative director and CTO Rasmussen in a statement. “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.”
Other investors in MasterClass include Bloomberg Beta, Novel TMT Ventures, Advancit Capital, WME Ventures, Downey Ventures, Usher, Yan-David Erlich and Matthew Rutler (MX Investments).