Ms. Koller can now regard series B round funding for the joint venture she founded just last year as being complete at $63 million.
Daphne Koller / Getty
Daphne Koller joint -CEO of online education platform Coursera, has welcomed an additional $20 million, with the bulk of the supplementary funding coming from three of the company’s university partners who preferred to remain anonymous. Existing investors GSV Capital and Learn Capital were also believed to have taken part in the second stage of the stage B funding.
According to Ms. Koller, despite the considerable levels of funding that the startup has received since it was co-founded just over eighteen months ago, she and her co-founder , Professor Andrew Ng, her colleague at Stanford University’ s computer science faculty, equity level retention still remains at a very high level.
Since its founding, Coursera has succeeding in raising a total of $85 million, as the company continues to drive forward to fulfill their self-stated goal to provide complementary university level education online standard for eligible students,
According to the concept that Koller and Ng developed for Coursera, the massive open online courses ( MOOCs) market verified certificates showing that students have completed their classes.
By doing so Coursera aim to make higher education easily accessible and considerably less expensive through making lectures from quality professors widely available, and at an affordable cost.
Ms. Koller may be the first to admit that a verified certificate from even America’s most prestigious universities might not carry the same weight as a bona fide university degree. However Coursera have reached an agreement with the American Council on Education (ACE) that allows them to evaluate a subset of courses to verify if a student can use the validation certificate to qualify for credits toward a degree. Something that Koller and Ng regard as being an important step in the right direction as they seek to radically reform higher education practices to suit an increasingly online orientated world.
Despite only being around for such a short time, Coursera have made a huge impression on the market, with more than five million students on their books, taking classes from 100 universities and institutions. This kind of market penetration has placed Coursera among the market leaders in the rapidly developing “Ed-tech” startup sector, with an estimated global growth potential that runs into trillions of dollars.
According to Ms. Koller the latest round of funding will be utilized to “really focus on improvements to the product to make it a much better experience for students and instructors, ”
Daphne Koller was born and raised in Israel. After completing high school, she commenced her higher education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem , gaining her bachelor’s degree at the age of just 17 going on to complete her master’s degree the following year,
Ms. Koller went on to complete her Ph.D. at Stanford University in 1993 at the age of just 25, going on to conduct postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley during the years, 1993 through 1995, after which she joined the faculty of the Stanford University Computer Science Department,
During her years at Stanford, Ms. Koller was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2004 and in 2008, was the recipient of d the first ever $150, 000 ACM-Infosys Foundation Award in Computing Sciences.
In 2009, Ms. Koller worked in conjunction with Nir Friedman, Professor of Computer Science and Biology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to publish an important textbook on the subject of probabilistic graphical models, later going on to offer a free online course on the subject from early 2012.