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Ed-tech marketplace Udemy hires Expedia’s Venu Venugopal as CTO

Ed-tech marketplace Udemy hires Expedia’s Venu Venugopal as CTO
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: 123RF.com
8 May, 2019

Online learning marketplace Udemy Inc. has appointed Venu Venugopal, a former executive at travel company Expedia, as its chief technology officer (CTO), a company statement said.

Venugopal will lead the firm’s data science, engineering and IT divisions to boost for the company’s growth globally.

“We look forward to working with Venu to scale our business, continue to innovate on our platform, and deliver an even better experience to the millions who teach and learn on Udemy," said Gregg Coccari, chief executive officer, Udemy.

At Expedia, Venugopal was vice president of engineering for HomeAway, which the travel company acquired in 2015. Prior to that, he founded and led the development of Maya, the visual effects and 3D-character animation Oscar-winning platform.

He also led the development of Adobe Flash, the multimedia platform spanning a range of devices. Venugopal holds masters degrees in Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Brunswick, Canada.

Venugopal’s appointment is the latest top management hire Udemy has made lately.

Last month, it appointed the former chief operating officer at classifieds portal OLX, Irwin Anand, as its managing director.

Udemy was founded in 2010 by Gaga Biyani, Eren Bali and Oktay Caglar. The online learning marketplace provides students, companies and governments the opportunity to gain skills through courses available on its platform.

It also offers Udemy for Business, a subscription-based service aimed at organistions, which can access to over 3,000 business relevant courses, learning analytics as well as a platform to host and distribute their own content in one central place. It also offers customisable learning platform to governments to upskill workers across nations.

The San-Francisco based firm also has a presence in Denever, Ireland, Turkey and Brazil. It claims to have a user base of 30 million students across 50 languages.

Its enterprise clients include Booking.com, Publicis Sapient, Pinterest and Adidas.

This year in March, Udemy established an employee hub in Gurugram to expand the scale of its operations in India.

It has been backed by venture firms, Naspers, Stripes Group, Norwest Venture Partners, Insight Venture Partners, Lightbank, MHS Capital, Learn Capital and 500 Startups.

Udemy competes with Ronnie Screwvala-backed UpGrad; Unacademy, which is funded by Sequoia Capital; and US-based platforms Udacity and Coursera.