Coursera Aims at Better Content and Product Experience Building

A big driver for this growth will be the rising need across all industries for workers skilled in technologies that constantly are changing.

Coursera is an online education company, headquartered at Mountain View, CA that serves over 26 million registered learners by partnering with 150 of the world’s best universities and education institutions.

On Coursera,  anyone, anywhere can access over 2,000 online courses and specializations in dozens of fields in order to achieve meaningful career, educational and personal enrichment goals throughout their lives. It is scaling a global platform to provide universal access with total equity funding of $210.1M raised so far in 7 Rounds from14 Investors. Its most recent funding $64M Series D closed on June 7, 2017. 

BWDisrupt's Soumya Gupta intercted with Raghav Gupta, India Country Director, Coursera to know more about their vision of the product and its future plans. 

Excerpts from the interview:-

What future do you see for Coursera’s product market in the edtech segment in India and abroad? 

According to a recent study by Google & KPMG, the Indian edtech sector is likely to grow eightfold to become a $1.96 billion industry by 2021. A big driver for this growth will be the rising need across all industries for workers skilled in technologies that constantly are changing. Globally, companies are laying greater importance on upskilling and are heavily investing in the training and development of their employees. In fact, we have over 60 enterprises using Coursera for Business to provide scalable training to their employees.

Coursera is one of the most funded edtech companies. How is the funding being utilized?

We are delighted to highlight that most of our investors are existing investors who wish to continue supporting us and our growth plans. We will use the latest round to fund efforts to grow our enterprise business (Coursera for Business), to expand our master’s degree portfolio, and to accelerate product innovation. We also aim to utilize the raised funds to strengthen our team to achieve these bold objectives.

As the India Country Director, what are the goals you have decided for the next 5 years?

We want to be the place anyone, anywhere can come to transform their life through access to the best learning experience. One of the most important ways we can impact people’s lives is by helping them become valuable employees so that they can get jobs that set them up for success in both their professional and personal lives. A big part of our effort over the coming years will be devoted to building content and a product experience that achieves those goals.

What major challenges lie before Coursera and how do view your competition?

Internet penetration and bandwidth issues are challenges faced by Coursera in India. However, with digital transformation and improvements to our product, we have been able to overcome them to a large extent. In a bandwidth constrained environment, Coursera allows you to download the lectures and assignments, and then seamlessly upload them for a grade when bandwidth returns.

The online education space is very young, and we’re excited to be a leader in all of the innovation taking place. Coursera is uniquely positioned since all the courses it offers, are from the world’s most reputed universities. No other platform offers such a breadth of high quality and affordable online courses. Thus the credibility of Coursera courses cannot be questioned. We also have concrete evidence to prove our learning impact with our Learner Outcome Survey which reveals the self-reported outcomes for people who have completed online courses on Coursera. The results of our 2017 survey revealed that 89% of Indian learners reported career benefits, while a whopping 98% reported educational benefits.

Additionally, Coursera certificates are the most posted badges on LinkedIn which very positively talks about the weightage given by potential & current employers.

The technology behind Coursera also gives us an edge over others. Some of our product features include in-browser coding, recommendations engine, personalized learning technology that guides learners to particular videos and a mobile app. 96% of all our courses can be completed entirely on the mobile app.


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