Lynda.com Inc. raised $186 million in a round led by TPG Capital, in the largest single investment in an education-technology company since at least 2010.
With the financing, Lynda.com's valuation is approaching $1 billion, said people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the number is private. Existing investors including Spectrum Equity, Accel Partners and Meritech Capital Partners also participated in the funding, said the company, which has raised more than $289 million since its inception.
The financing is the biggest for an education-technology company in at least the past five years, according to researcher CB Insights. Investment in the category swelled 55 percent to $1.87 billion last year, with Pluralsight LLC raising $135 million and TutorGroup and Dude Solutions Inc. each raising $100 million, according to CB Insights.
Lynda.com produces online learning tools and sells them to individuals and large corporate customers. The company offers more than 5,700 courses and 255,000 video tutorials. The Carpinteria, California-based startup generated $150 million in revenue last year and is profitable, Chief Executive Officer Eric Robison said. With the new funding, Lynda.com plans to acquire companies and to add to its courses and video tutorials, he said.
“It’s an opportunity for us to continue to strengthen our balance sheet and continue to do acquisitions in this segment,” Robison said.
The company has offered letters of intent to three targets, Robison said, declining to identify the companies. He said any acquisitions would help Lynda.com improve technology and add to its library of courses.
Lynda.com, which has 550 employees, was founded by Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin, who both remain on the board. As part of the new funding, TPG partner David Trujillo is also joining the board.