Carpinteria,Calif. - lynda.com, an online learning company, today announced a $103 million investment from Accel Partners, the global venture capital firm, and Spectrum Equity, a leading growth equity firm focused on the information economy. The financing marks the first outside funding in the 17-year history of lynda.com. Meritech Capital Partners also participated in the investment.
"We are excited to stand behind the lynda.com management team as they continue to build the leading brand in online education."
With this investment, Andrew Braccia of Accel and Vic Parker of Spectrum have joined the company's board of directors, which also includes Lynda Weinman, co-founder and Executive Chair, Bruce Heavin, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, Eric Robison, president and CEO, and Bud Colligan, former CEO of Macromedia and current Accel Venture Partner.
Founded in 1995, lynda.com provides software, technology, creative and business training to more than two million people worldwide through a comprehensive library of 87,000 high quality instructional videos taught by 250 recognized industry experts. In 2012, the company earned more than $100 million in revenue and has been profitable since 1997.
"We're fortunate that our financial performance and profitability over the years has enabled us to reinvest in the ongoing growth of the company," said Eric Robison, president and CEO of lynda.com. "Our decision to accept outside funding will support lynda.com as we expand internationally. It will also add value to our membership with broadened content areas and accelerated scaling of our Web and video platform."
"Our mission has always been to help people navigate changing technology by providing up-to-date, credible learning materials that are easy to follow," said Lynda Weinman, co-founder and Executive Chair of lynda.com. "We've built a thriving business by focusing on our product, collaborating with the best teachers in the industry and providing flexible learning paths for our customers. Now, we're ready for the next level. This investment increases our ability to expand our services to help more people in more places, and we believe that Accel and Spectrum have the domain expertise, resources and shared vision to help us reach our goals."
In addition to individual subscribers, lynda.com serves corporate, government and educational organizations through its lyndaEnterprise, lyndaPro, lyndaCampus and lyndaKiosk products. Clients include numerous public and private K-12 institutions, 44 out of 50 top national universities, more than half of the Fortune 100 companies, 31 U.S. state governments, all branches of the U.S. military and all cabinet-level departments of the U.S. federal government.
"We have followed the growth of lynda.com closely for several years as the company has established itself as a clear leader in online education content across several important categories," said Vic Parker, Managing Director at Spectrum Equity. "We are pleased to have the opportunity to invest in lynda.com and look forward to working with the board and management team to expand the company's offerings and reach an even larger audience of online learners."
"Education is the latest industry to encounter a major digital disruption and lynda.com is at the forefront of connecting educational content to learners online," added Andrew Braccia, Partner, Accel Partners. "We are excited to stand behind the lynda.com management team as they continue to build the leading brand in online education."
The company's headquarters are in Carpinteria, California, with international offices in the United Kingdom and Australia.
lynda.com is an online learning company that helps anyone learn software, technology, creative and business skills to achieve their personal and professional goals. Through individual, corporate, academic and government subscriptions, more than two million people have access to the lynda.com video library of engaging, top-quality courses taught by recognized industry experts and filmed at the company's 12-acre, state-of-the-art campus in Carpinteria, California. Founded in 1995 and incorporated in 1997, lynda.com is led by co-founders Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin and president and CEO Eric Robison. Learn more about lynda.com at www.lynda.com/press and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lynda.
About Accel Partners
Founded in 1983, Accel Partners has a long history of partnering with outstanding entrepreneurs and management teams to build world-class businesses. Accel invests globally using dedicated teams and market-specific strategies for local geographies, with offices in Palo Alto, New York City, London and Bangalore; as well as in China via its partnership with IDG-Accel. Accel has helped entrepreneurs build over 300 successful companies, many of which have defined their categories, including Angry Birds (Rovio), Atlassian, Braintree, Brightcove, Cloudera, ComScore, Diapers.com (Quidsi), Dropbox, Etsy, Facebook, Flipkart, Fusion-IO, GlamMedia, Groupon, Imperva, Kayak, Lookout, Macromedia, metroPCS, QlikTech, Responsys, Riverbed, Spotify, Squarespace, Sunrun, Trulia, Veritas, Walmart.com and Wonga.
About Spectrum Equity
Spectrum Equity is a leading growth equity firm that provides capital and strategic support to its portfolio companies. Representative investments include Ancestry.com, BATS, GrubHub, lynda.com, Passport Health, SurveyMonkey, Teachers Pay Teachers, Verafin, and WeddingWire. For more information about Spectrum, including a complete list of investments, visit www.spectrumequity.com.
About Meritech Capital Partners
Meritech Capital Partners is a leading provider of late-stage venture capital to category-defining private technology companies and has been one of the top performing venture firms of the past decade. With over $2.6 billion under management, Meritech provides guidance on issues facing rapidly growing companies including hiring, IPO market timing and positioning, M&A strategies and adviser selection. Meritech investments include Facebook, Salesforce, Riverbed, Netsuite, PopCap, and Cornerstone OnDemand. Meritech is located in Palo Alto, CA.