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Lynda.com to expand with $186M private equity raise from TPG

By   /   Wednesday, January 14th, 2015  /   Comments Off on Lynda.com to expand with $186M private equity raise from TPG

Carpinteria-based Lynda.com has raised $186 milllion from a group of investors, earmarked for accelerating acquisitions, growth and new content Initiatives at the online learning platform.

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Lynda.com co-founders Bruce Heavin, chief innovation officer, and Lynda Weinman, executive chair, at the company's Carpinteria headquarters. (Business Times file photo)

Lynda.com co-founders Bruce Heavin, chief innovation officer, and Lynda Weinman, executive chair, at the company’s Carpinteria headquarters. (Business Times file photo)

Carpinteria-based Lynda.com today announced it has raised $186 million from a group of investors, earmarked for accelerating acquisitions, growth and new content initiatives at the online learning platform.

The raise is only the second time the company has taken outside funding in its 17-year history, which traditionally supports operations solely through its fast-growing revenue. The $186 million investment round was led by TPG Capital, a private investment firm with $65 billion of assets under management. Accel Partners, Spectrum Equity and Meritech, existing Lynda.com investors, also participated in the round.

With the investment, TPG Principal David Trujillo will join the company’s board of directors, bringing its membership to seven.

“This investment is a tremendous vote of confidence in lynda.com’s ability to empower more people everywhere to learn the skills they need to succeed,” Lynda.com CEO Eric Robison said in a press release.

The firm provides subscription-based online learning tutorials for a range of topics with a focus on technology skills. It has long positioned its services as complementary 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.

According to a news release from Lynda.com, the funding raise will allow the company to increase its content library, which already boasts more than 5,700 courses and 255,000 video tutorials in four languages. Them also firm said it will grow its customer base that so far includes half of the Fortune 50, numerous colleges and universities and government organizations.

“Through the years, millions of people have used Lynda.com to reach their goals — launching businesses, changing careers, landing their dream jobs or simply learning something new,” Lynda Weinman, the firm’s co-founder and executive chair, said in a statement. “We’ve built a thriving business by staying true to our mission and look forward to empowering more learners in more corners of the world.”

Lynda.com, one of the fastest-growing firms in the Tri-Counties, employs about 400 people in the region and generated $100 million in revenue in 2012, the last year the company disclosed its earnings. It has been profitable since two years after its founding in Ojai in 1995. The company is now located on a 12-acre campus in Carpinteria, with additional offices in Ventura and Calabasas.

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