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One year after raising a $7.5 million Series A and naming Mika Salmi CEO, live education platform CreativeLIVE has raised another $21.5 million in a Series B round led by The Social+Capital Partnership, with participation by existing investor Greylock Partners. The Social+Capital Partnership’s Tim Maidenberg is joining Greylock Partners’ James Slavet on the board of directors.
“The Social+Capital Partnership is excited to lead this round of financing that will enable creativeLIVE to expand its offering and bring the interactivity and creativity inherent in a live classroom setting to more students online,” said Maidenberg, in a statement. “CreativeLIVE has the unique opportunity to disrupt the traditional education model by offering a better, more immersive learning experience while increasing access to high quality instruction. We are excited to be a part of the creativeLIVE team and to help drive growth for the company.”
A recent study conducted by Internships.com found that 43% of students believe that online education will provide them with courses of the same or higher quality than a traditional classroom. The number of students taking at least one online course during the fall 2012 semester surpassed 6.7 million, and 32% of higher education students now take at least one course online.
Founded in 2010 by photographer/director Chase Jarvis and entrepreneur Craig Swanson, the platform takes a unique angle to the massively open online class concept. Like others, it offers free, multi-day live tutorials that are open to anyone with the desire to learn, but unlike other platforms, it focuses specifically on life skills rather than traditional academia.
Users can sign up to take free live courses in photography, business, software, design, or video and film. Those who can’t make the live tutorial can pay for full access to past courses.
Through creativeLIVE, users can connect with New York Times best selling authors, Pulitzer Prize winners, Emmy nominated directors, and other award-winning professionals.
To date, over two million students from 200 countries have taken classes on CreativeLIVE, totaling one billion minutes consumed. The platform’s library includes more than 500 courses.
Over the last decade, investments in education technology companies have tripled to $429 million in 2011, compared to $146 million in 2002, according to the National Venture Capital Association. In 2012, education technology companies received $1.1 billion from VCs, angel investors, private equity funds, and corporations.
"It’s been a great experience working with the creativeLIVE team over the past 18 months, and seeing them rapidly emerge as an upstart in online education," said James Slavet, in a statement. "Millions of people have already learned real-life skills to better pursue their careers and passions through the creativeLIVE platform. While a lot has been written about the MOOCs and access to university-generated content, we believe the opportunities are even greater in the $100 billion continuing education space."
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