Thinkific, a Vancouver-based online education startup that allows anyone to create and teach their own courses, has raised $22 million in a new funding round.
The latest round was led by existing investor and early-stage VC firm Rhino Ventures.
Founded in 2012 by Greg Smith, Matt Smith, Miranda Lievers and Matt Payne, Thinkific provides a platform that enables people to create, market, sell, and deliver their own online courses. It aims to revolutionize the way people learn and earn online by giving them the tools they need to turn their expertise into a sustainable business that impacts both them and their audience.
Thinkific’s platform enables people to create and teach users on topics ranging from cooking, painting, dancing, fitness, wellness, music, to business coaching. The startup claims on its website that it has enabled over 50,000 instructors, entrepreneurs, and businesses to create courses using its platform and has enabled them to earn more than $650 million worth of revenue to date. It also says that over 75 million courses have taken, and people from 190 countries are using its platform.
According to Co-founder and CEO Greg Smith, the company witnessed a 200% increase in courses created on its platform since March. Speaking about its growth story, he said in a statement,
“Even before the pandemic hit, we were witnessing significant growth, but we’ve now seen the course creation industry change forever. A massive number of entrepreneurs are rapidly moving their offline businesses online to deliver exceptional teaching experiences to a new global audience. We’re also seeing a significant increase in the number of well-established businesses building out online training as a new revenue driver.”
Thinkific became profitable in 2018 and reported nearly 150% year-over-year revenue growth. The startup plans to use the latest funding to expand its team by hiring 350 people over the next 18 months, and pursue the opportunities created as the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift to online learning. It currently employs nearly 200 people.
Commenting on the funding, Fraser Hall, Managing Partner, Rhino Ventures, said in a statement,
“Working with Thinkific over the past four years has been nothing short of exceptional. It’s no secret that its business model, user numbers, and 150% year-over-year revenue growth, is tracking, by stage, very closely to Shopify, which is now Canada’s most valuable public company. It’s a model that is undoubtedly shaping a new world of knowledge entrepreneurship and one that’s accessible to any individual or organization that wants to add education as a new revenue channel.”
Thinkific has raised $3 million earlier, and with the latest funding the startup has raised a total of $25 million to date.