Vator Splash Winner: Udemy

Chris Caceres · June 16, 2010 · Short URL:

Udemy wants to be the, "academy of you"

Palo Alto, Ca.-based Udemy, competed a few weeks ago at our Vator Splash event in San Francisco.  The company's Co-founder, Gagan Biyani presented his pitch on stage in front of several hundreds of entrepreneurs and investors.  Here's the video we captured and a summary of what the company is working on.

Udemy's tagline, "academy of you," describes it perfectly.  The startup has built an open platform which lets users teach or learn online from one another.  All the technology is Web-based so instructors don't need to deal with any complications in setting up their virtual classes.  For example, Udemy offers a live virtual conferencing and classroom tool, which can all be used simply on the site.  The company says it will focus on a specific niche: Poker education, and then move onto additional markets where it seems consumers paying.

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Udemy is a website that enables anyone to teach and learn online. Udemy tries to democratize online education by making it fast, easy and free to create online courses. Udemy is an open platform, so anyone can build an online course by posting videos, presentations, writing blog posts, or hosting live virtual classroom sessions.

Udemy tries to solve a simple problem: there are millions of smart people in the world (authors, speakers, coaches, trainers, subject matter experts and teachers) who want to teach over the internet. Currently, it costs $10,000 to create a website to teach, and there are thousands of instructors doing this (we've talked to them; they hate it). We provide instructors with the ability to create their own course without any up-front costs. That way, they no longer have to deal with the technology and can focus entirely on teaching.

Udemy Live is Udemy’s live virtual conferencing and classroom tool. It is entirely web-based and built on component architecture. Each component was built separately, and there is an internal API so third party developers can build components on top of Udemy’s virtual conferencing tool. The API is not currently public.

Udemy was founded by MobileCrunch writer Gagan Biyani, Eren Bali and Oktay Caglar. Eren and Oktay worked at, an online dating site that has received over $8M in funding from Menlo Ventures.

Udemy will start by focusing on a specific niche: Poker education. We will roll out Udemy to enter the $100M business of online poker education. Udemy has deals with more than 15 extremely popular poker instructors to teach on Udemy Poker over the internet. After that niche, Udemy will begin to enter additional markets in which there is a willingness to pay by consumers and a clear set of high-quality instructors interested in teaching.


Gagan Biyani

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