2U


Website: 2U.com
Twitter: @2Uinc
Founders: Chip Paucek and Jeremy Johnson 

History

2U is a cloud-based software-as-a-service platform that partners with universities to attract, enroll, educate, support and graduate students globally. The company's mission is to create online extensions of universities' on-campus courses. Rather than offering its own degrees to students, 2U allows universities to offer their own curriculum on a cloud-based, “online-education-as-a-service” platform. [8] 2U helps arrange offline seminars for online students who are located far away from the university, providing 24-hour technical support to students faculty. [11] The company tailors its platform for each program, helps onboard and train faculty, designs the intercampus social tools to connect students, provides video conferencing and Adobe Connect for intimate student-teacher communication, and offers an underlying Learning Management System that connects everything together. [8]

History

Headquartered in Landover, Maryland, 2U (originally called '2tor') was founded in 2008 by Chip Paucek and Jeremy Johnson. The duo decided to create the company based on the opportunity they saw to expand educational offerings of major universities via ed-tech to students living far from campus. In the beginning, the company expanded offered courses in only graduate programs, and branched out to undergraduate programs in the following years. In the past decade, schools like Georgetown have begun to phase out in-person degrees in favor of online degrees. In February of 2014, with the increased public interest in online learning, 2U announced it had filed paperwork for a $100 million IPO with the SEC, one of the largest IPO's for ed-tech in history. [8] The following March, the company debuted on the NASDAQ exchange under the ticker "TWOU," raising $119.3 million with their IPO. [7] [10] Also in 2014, 2U was honored on the World Economic Forum's 2014 list of U.S. Global Growth Companies. Global Growth Companies are described as "fast-growing companies with the clear potential to become global economic leaders." [4] That same year, 2U released "MHA@GW," a native app for iOS and Android, that students use to access course materials, connect with professors and peers, and set up notifications for assignments and tests. The app even has an offline mode so that students can use it while traveling or out of service. [6] As of February 2014, 2U had created online degree programs for 11 graduate schools and had partnered with an additional 10 schools to launch online programs. [8] Given the appetite for ed-tech solutions, 2U plans to expand into five new programs in 2015. Even Chip, the company's CEO takes 2U's online business classes while traveling around the world to promote the company. [3]

Funding rounds

Funding RoundPaper AmountDateInvestors
Series DOctober 21, 2013$5.1 millionRethink Education, Redpoint Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners
Series DApril 2, 2012$26 millionQED Investors Hillman Ventures, City Light Capital, Highland Capital Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Novak Biddle Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures
Series CMarch 10, 2011, 2014$32.5 millionCity Light Capital, Novak Biddle Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, QED Investors
Series BFebruary 5, 2010$20 millionCity Light Capital, Novak Biddle Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Highland Capital Partners
Series AJune 21, 2009$10 millionRedpoint Ventures, Novak Biddle Venture Partners, City Light Capital
SeedMarch 25, 2009$2.3 million