Coursera: about the company, history, IPO


Coursera is an international open online education platform, which offers a range of information and educational programs, including interactive projects with industry experts, courses, specializations, certification programs, as well as undergraduate and graduate degrees from 200 universities and educational institutions worldwide. Among them are eight Russian universities that have placed more than 150 courses on the platform in Russian and English. Coursera allows students to achieve their lifelong educational, career, and personal goals. More than 6,000 educational institutions use Coursera to enhance and retrain their employees, students, and trainees, including in high-demand fields such as data science, technology, and business.

As of March 31, 2021, there were 82 million students registered on Coursera.

Performance Indicators

2020: Revenue growth to $294 million, loss to $67 million

In 2020, Coursera’s revenue reached $294 million versus $184 million, and the company’s net loss increased from $47 million to $67 million during that time.


2021: Going public on NYSE, $4.3 billion valuation

On March 31, 2021, Coursera stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker: COUR). As part of the IPO, the company sold 15.7 million securities (14.66 million shares were newly issued and 1.07 million were held by existing shareholders) at $33 apiece, raising about $518 million. At that price, the market capitalization of the educational platform was $4.3 billion, while at the end of the last investment round it was valued at $2.6 billion.

According to the IPO prospectus, Coursera intends to use the proceeds for working capital, marketing, research, capital and administrative expenses. For example, for employee salaries, which increased from 512 to 779 people in 2020.

Thirteen financial institutions underwrote the IPO. Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and UBS were among them. They received an option for 2.36 million shares. If banks will execute the option the number of free-floating shares will increase to 18.09 million. 12.1% of the total number of shares were released to the exchange.

By the end of March 2021, Coursera is working with more than 200 universities, offering courses, both paid and free, in various fields of knowledge, giving tests and conducting exams. The platform has 77 million registered course participants. The total amount of investments raised by the company exceeds $443 million.

The Coursera IPO is an exit for Yuri Milner, who through his DST Global fund invested in the company in 2013 in round B, and for Arctic Ventures Anton Alikov. How much Russian investors were able to earn on Coursera is not specified.

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