Reposted from Forbes:
Online learning, also known as e-learning, is booming. Market research firm Global Industry Analysts projects it will reach $107 Billion in 2015. More traditional methods of training or education are not going away, not yet, but organizations of all types, from public schools to corporations, are opting to train and inform via the web. Pluralsight, an online training service for technology professionals, announced today it has closed $135 million in Series B funding.
In 2013, Lynda.com, the online learning giant and arguably the 800-pound gorilla in the e-learning space, took in $103 million in growth equity from Accel Partners and Spectrum Equity. Subscription Content reported that the site already had $100 million in revenues with two million subscribers. The Lynda service has amassed more than 83,000 instructional videos, mainly on software and web development, but a quick look now shows a wider range of design to photography to 3D animation. Content is still the winning card for this market and Lynda just announced the acquisition of Phoenix-based Interface Technical Training; adding more than 2,500 videos teaching business, technology and creative skills to its own collection. They have an annual fee with unlimited access to all its videos.
I think the niche sites and well-organized, curated platforms are going to change how we learn. Author Kio Stark conducted over 100 interviews with independent learners for her book: Don’t Go Back To School and it chronicles how people are using online methods to increase their knowledge base. It hints at why the online learning industry is going to grow beyond $100 Billion. We’ll continue to see investment in this space as startups target new niches or build out deep content wells that bigger players will want to acquire.