US-based Coursera Inc, an education technology company that partners with universities to offer courses online, has secured $49.5 million in the first closing of Series C funding from New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Times Internet (TIL) and others investors.
Existing investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and International Finance Corporation (IFC) also participated in this round, as per a press statement.
The investment by TIL is part of a larger partnership under which it will provide marketing, advertising and strategic support to build awareness about Coursera in India, the statement said.
"Coursera is the gold standard for the emerging wave of education technology companies. We are excited to bring Times Internet's growth capabilities behind such a strong product, and bring high quality, affordable digital education to millions of Indians," Satyan Gajwani, CEO of Times Internet, said. TIL is a subsidiary of Bennett, Coleman and Company Ltd (BCCL), which also runs The Times of India, The Economic Times and other media properties.
About three-quarters of Coursera's learners are outside the US. Emerging economies are its fastest growing markets.
"Coursera has made tremendous progress over the last year and is meeting a major, global market need with its multi-course specialisations in key workforce sectors. We are excited to support the growth of this high-impact enterprise, which is transforming lives through access to the world's best educational institutions," said Scott Sandell, managing general partner at NEA and member of Coursera's board of directors.
Coursera expects the second closing of this latest round funding round in the next few months. This will take the total Series C funding to $60 million.