Our Investment in MasterClass: Lifelong learning from the best in the world
We used to be told that what you learned in school would last you a lifetime. In today’s rapidly changing world, that no longer holds true. The rate of change across the average adult career has increased so much in the past decade that there is a growing need for lifelong learning solutions. There are millions of lifelong learners around the world. These people are hungry for new skills and to hone old ones. To explore a new passion. To keep growing.
When we first met founder David Rogier, we were blown away with both the ambition and precision of his vision for Masterclass. David had a bold idea – to make knowledge from the world’s masters accessible to all for lifelong learning – and over the past three years has been working with his team to turn that vision into a reality.
What if you could take acting classes with Helen Mirren? Or cooking classes with Gordon Ramsay? Or filmmaking classes with Martin Scorsese? MasterClass has turned what sounds like a farfetched vision that would only ever be accessible by a few into a reality for everyone, anywhere.
At Atomico, we embrace continuous learning because our job is to see into the future. In order to keep up with technology, we’ve got to stay curious. That’s why we love founders who also share our passion for education at any age and enabling that to be a reality for anyone.
By creating meaningful and engaging learning experiences, through online video taught by a roster of world-class experts and renowned instructors, MasterClass has built a premier online education platform that redefines the digital learning experience. Making it possible for everyone to have access to the world’s greatest masters.
MasterClass launched in 2015 with three classes; and in three years, the company has grown its offering to 39 classes from the world’s greatest minds in film and television, cooking, photography, sports, writing, science, and more. In 2018, MasterClass added classes with Spike Lee (filmmaking), Judd Apatow (comedy), and Margaret Atwood (creative writing), among others, and expanded into new categories with classes from Chris Hadfield (space exploration), and Daniel Negreanu (poker). The company has a robust pipeline of new classes and categories set to launch through the end of this year, which will bring its growing catalogue to more than 50 classes, with more than a thousand lessons.
The content is divided into 10 minute sessions to make participating easy. There are video lessons, interactive exercises, course materials, peer interaction, even “office hours” (personal video Q&A with Serena Williams, anyone?). With the launch of their subscription product in November 2017, it’s now possible for lifelong learners to explore a range of classes in different categories.
With the company’s unrivaled lineup of experts and explosive growth, we know that David could have his pick of global investors to help him continue to expand MasterClass internationally. That’s why we’re humbled and delighted to have been invited to participate in this $80m Series D round. We are excited to partner with David and his team to give every curious person around the world a chance to keep learning from the best in the world.