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OpenClassrooms raises $60m for expansion

Online learning platform OpenClassrooms has announced it has raised nearly $60m in a second round of funding, led by global equity group General Atlantic.

OpenClassrooms focuses on vocational and employability-linked training. Photo: Pexels

OpenClassrooms partnered with Orange to provide tech training across Africa

The French-registered provider claims around three million students around the world, enrolled on more than 30 degree-level qualifications and 300 other diplomas “based on the skills and jobs of the future”.

“OpenClassrooms has emerged as a pioneer in teaching job-specific skills”

Along with academic partners, OpenClassrooms is able to grant its own qualifications due to registration and quality assurance with the French education ministry. 

According to a press release, “the investment will help OpenClassrooms accelerate the expansion of its program offerings, corporate and government partnerships, and international presence”. 

The firm has already garnered much attention, including from global net-native organisations such as Google. Through its non-profit arm, the US web giant gave OpenClassrooms $1m to help design online programs for those employed in the ‘gig economy’, due to the rising prevalence of short-term and freelance contracts over permanent contracts which used to be the norm.

Outside of the US, OpenClassrooms recently partnered with French telecoms industry leader Orange (which operates globally) to increase digital technology training across Africa. This partnership allows students to access OpenClassrooms on their mobile devices, or on a desktop computer via the local Orange network.

Commenting on the substantial backing provided, Chris Caulkin, principal at General Atlantic, said the equity group made the move as a recognition of the changing nature of work and education, and of OpenClassroom’s “pioneering” pedagogy in the digital field. 

“Vocational and skills-based education is playing an increasingly important role in combating the global skills gap driven by the pace of technological advances… OpenClassrooms has emerged as a pioneer in this field, through its innovative pedagogy focused on teaching job-specific skills that render graduates more readily employable,” he said. 

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