American-based online learning platform Coursera filed its IPO prospectus on Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It plans to enter the New York Stock exchange under the symbol “COUR”.
The online education sector has experienced a boom during the COVID-19 pandemic. A California-based company, The Mountain View, offers its users access to online courses and degrees from premier universities.
Coursera has made it to the CNBC Disruptor 50 list several times. It recently came in at 4th place on the 2020 edition of the list.
Recording a 59% growth in revenue compared to 2019, the company raked in an estimated $293 million for the fiscal year that closed on December 31st. Its net losses on a year-on-year basis increased by around $20 million, bringing the total to $66.8 million in 2020.
Coursera’s IPO prospectus stated, “Our revenue increased significantly primarily due to an increase in the number of enrollments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Likewise, we experienced a significant increase in our operating costs associated with our services, primarily driven by our freemium offerings and marketing efforts. As the pandemic made online learning and remote work more widespread, it is uncertain what impact the tapering of the COVID-19 pandemic might have on our operating results.”
Coursera said that at an average acquisition cost of less than $2000, it added over 12,000 new degree students over two years, which ended on December 31st.
The total number of registered users in 2020 grew by 65% on a year-on-year basis.
PitchBook data reveals that Coursera was most recently valued at $2.5 billion. This company was founded in 2012 by Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, former Stanford University Computer Science professors. Both Koller and Ng had realized the need to bring about an overdue change through online education.
As of December 31st, 2020, over 150 universities offered more than 4000 courses on Coursera. These include over two dozen degree programs at lower prices than several in-person school offerings. As per the Coursera prospectus, a bachelor’s or master’s degree completed through Coursera can cost an individual anywhere between $9,000 to $45,000.
As part of its Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative, Coursera partnered with over 330 government agencies across 70 countries during the pandemic. The initiative aids governments in providing unemployed workers with free access to thousands of business, technology, and data science courses from companies such as Amazon and Google. Coursera also offers a wide range of educational certificates and professional skills courses for prices as low as $9.99 to $99.
The price range and number of shares for the proposed offering are yet to be disclosed. Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley have been listed as the top underwriters.