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Female-Founded Startup Receives $43 Million in Funding

Coursera, co-founded by Daphne Koller, received $43 million in funding yesterday. 

By Jessica Schimm (Assistant Editor, Women 2.0)

Yesterday, Coursera, an online education company offers courses, complete with tests and assignments for free, announced that it had received $43 million in Series B funding according to TechCrunch.

The company, co-founded by Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, is located in Mountain View California and is hoping to expand their audience. TechCrunch reports:

….[Coursera] has closed a $43 million series B financing round from GSV Capital, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investment arm of the World Bank, Laureate Education, Learn Capital and renowned entrepreneur and investor, Yuri Milner, among others.

With this new capital in tow, which brings its total to $65 million, Coursera has big plans ahead. Over the last six months, the startup has been working its way into new territory, taking first steps into the K-12 market and announcing that its first five courses had been approved for “credit equivalency” by the American Council on Education. In other words, with ACE’s blessing, any student who completes one of the five courses is now eligible to receive college transfer credit.

Koller, a professor in Stanford’s Department of Computer Science who is passionate about education, developed Coursera in April 2012. Last year, Koller received the Crunchies award for “Best New Startup of 2012” and has been listed in Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.

The company is looking to expand to an international audience according to the New York TImes, which aligns with their mission to bring education to “millions of students, rather than hundreds,” according to their about page.

Though the idea of putting up college courses online is not new, (iTunes U), Coursera takes online learning experience to the next level by incorporating tests and assignments to reinforce the learning, according to Koller’s TED talk profile.

More recently, Coursera has grown to plays a bigger role in Universities around the nation. As of May, ten higher education systems, including University of Georgia, New Mexico and West Virginia University plan to incorporate MOOCs and Coursera into their curriculum, according to The Big Story.

With college tuition soaring, what future do you see for online education startups like Coursera?

head2 Jessica Schimm is the assistant editor at Women 2.0. She is a recent graduate of San Francisco State where she earned a B.A. in journalism and was the editor-in-chief of SF State’s Her Campus chapter. She has developed a strong interest in women’s issues and writes about them on her blog Women Who Run San Francisco. Follow her on Twitter @JessicaSchimm.

Photo  credit: American Council on Education via Flickr