Business

Udemy files for U.S. IPO as remote learning shift drives revenue surge

The company arrived in Brazil, its gateway to Latin America, in 2018 and today the country is the fifth-largest market for the platform

Photo: Scheenshot/Udemy/Instagram.
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  • The San Francisco-based company’s revenue grew 55.6% to $429.9 million in 2020 from a year earlier, its filing showed;
  • Udemy incurred a net loss of $77.6 million over the same period;
  • Even so, the company, which did not share the terms for its offering, was valued at $3.3 billion during a financing round in November last year. It is expected to go public at a much higher valuation.

Online learning platform Udemy on Tuesday filed regulatory paperwork for an initial public offering (IPO) in the United States, revealing a surge in revenue last year driven by the pandemic-led accelerated shift toward remote learning.

The San Francisco-based company’s revenue grew 55.6% to $429.9 million in 2020 from a year earlier, its filing showed. Udemy incurred a net loss of $77.6 million over the same period.

The company, which did not share the terms for its offering, was valued at $3.3 billion during a financing round in November last year. It is expected to go public at a much higher valuation.

Udemy is the latest in a string of online education companies looking to list their shares in New York, after Coursera and Nerdy went public earlier this year.

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As of June 30, about 42% of Fortune 100 companies used Udemy Business (UB), the company’s corporate learning service, according to its filing. UB revenue more than doubled last year as global business leaders increasingly require employees to pick up new skills.

Udemy offers over 183,000 courses in 75 languages in over 180 countries. The company arrived in Brazil, its gateway to Latin America, in 2018 and today the country is the fifth-largest market for the platform. The funds to be raised with the IPO should drive the expansion of the platform.

Earlier this year, the platform launched a direct-to-consumer subscription, an offering that is still in beta testing mode.

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With a roughly $200 billion market opportunity, Udemy, which has more than 44 million learners on its platform, expects its estimated addressable market to grow in multiples due to the transition to online learning.

It competes with the likes of Pluralsight, Skillsoft, and LinkedIn Learning in its corporate training offering and with Coursera and edX in its consumer-facing marketplace.

Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan are the lead underwriters for the IPO, after which the company plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol “UDMY.”

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