In a move that could change online education, Carpinteria-based lynda.com has raised $103 milllion from a group of investors, marking the first time the company has taken outside funding in its 17-year history.
Lynda.com, one of the fastest-growing firms in the Tri-Counties, employs about 400 people and generated $100 million in revenue in 2012. It has been profitable since two years after its founding in Ojai in 1995. The company is now located in Carpinteria at a 12-acre campus, with additional offices in Ventura and Calabasas.
The firm provides subscription-based online learning tutorials for topics such as graphic design software. The company has long positioned itself as a complement to traditional education rather than a replacement — students learn to use software at home so they can focus on subtler topics with a live instructor. The service is used by Fortune 100 companies, higher education institutions and the government.
“Our mission has always been to help people navigate changing technology by providing up-to-date, credible learning materials that are easy to follow,” Lynda Weinman, co-founder and executive chair of lynda.com, said in a news release. “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.”
The investors in lynda.com are Accel Partners, a global venture capital firm, and Spectrum Equity, a growth-equity firm focused on the information economy. Andrew Braccia of Accel and Vic Parker of Spectrum have joined the the firm’s board of directors. The board also includes Weinman; 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.