SAN FRANCISCO — MasterClass, which offers online classes taught by Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, Serena Williams, James Patterson and Usher, has raised a $15 million Series B funding round. This latest round is led by New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA) (Partner: Rick Yang) and reveals a previously undisclosed $4.5 million Series A led by Javelin Venture Partners (Partner: Alex Gurevich) and two seed rounds totaling $1.9 million both led by Harrison Metal (Founder: Michael Dearing).
Other investors include: Bloomberg Beta, Novel TMT Ventures, Advancit Capital, WME Ventures, Downey Ventures, Usher, Yan-David Erlich and Matthew Rutler (MX Investments). The company also announces the official launch of Kevin Spacey’s acting MasterClass and the opening of pre-orders for Christina Aguilera’s singing MasterClass.
The funding will be used to expand the roster of instructors, accelerate class production in new subject areas, grow the MasterClass team and further build upon proprietary technology. Additionally, Rick Yang (Partner at NEA) is joining the Board of Directors with existing board member Alex Gurevich (Partner at Javelin Venture Partners).
“What made us excited about MasterClass very early on was they figured out how to package the knowledge and wisdom of the world’s geniuses across a broad variety of topics, making it accessible to everyone while providing tangible educational value. Nothing can compare to learning from the world’s top masters,” said Alex Gurevich, Partner, Javelin Venture Partners.
MasterClass launched in May 2015 to turn masters in their fields into instructors accessible to all aspiring learners. Those masters now include Kevin Spacey, Christina Aguilera, Dustin Hoffman, Usher, James Patterson, Annie Leibovitz, and Serena Williams, through a first-of-its kind technology platform meant to distill knowledge and meaningful experiences through on-demand online video. Class curriculums are developed individually by each instructor to reflect their own unique approach to their craft. Each MasterClass includes 10-25 video lessons, interactive exercises, learning materials and workbooks, and is accessible from any device for $90.
Aguilera, in conjunction with MasterClass’ proprietary technology, will also release “Christina Aguilera’s Vocal Range Finder.” This will allow students to test their vocal range and share the results with peers for an interactive learning experience.
“We want to change what online education looks like,” said Co-Founder, Creative Director, and CTO Aaron Rasmussen. “We’re continually developing and refining our style of online class where you get into the minds of the world’s best and learn to see with their eyes. This new round of funding gives us fuel to capture and create more classes with new, innovative methods.”