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Revolutionizing Learning Online: An In-Depth Look at Skillshare

to Skillshare: Revolutionizing Online Learning

In today’s fast-paced world, learning has become more accessible than ever before, thanks to advancements in technology and the internet. Online learning platforms like Skillshare have taken this a step further by providing personalized, immersive and engaging learning experiences through video tutorials, project-based classes, and certificate of completion across diverse areas like music, photography, and UX design, just to mention a few.

This article provides you with an in-depth understanding of Skillshare, outlining its features, business model, revenue streams, and course offerings, among other things.

Overview of Skillshare

Skillshare is an online learning platform designed to connect creators and learners, offering educational content in the form of video-based courses. It was founded in 2010 by Michael Karnjanaprakorn and Malcolm Ong, with the mission of providing affordable access to education.

Today, Skillshare offers thousands of classes across various areas, with the primary goal of empowering creators across the world to teach and educate.

Skillshare’s unique approach to online learning sets it apart from other platforms, as it employs a robust community aspect to encourage engagement, feedback, and interaction between its users.

This community-based approach fosters creativity, innovation, and connections, and learners get to interact with talented and reputable creators who share their passions and interests. Skillshare’s business model and revenue streams

Skillshare’s business model is a combination of a subscription fee and a referral fee.

The platform offers two types of subscriptions: a monthly subscription for $15 per month or an annual subscription for $99 per year, which comes to $8.25 per month. The subscription model gives users unlimited access to all classes on the platform, and the platform offers a two-week free trial to its users.

Skillshare’s referral program offers a unique opportunity to creators who refer new users to the platform. Creators can earn a commission each time a new user signs up using their referral link.

Additionally, Skillshare uses the marketplace business model to earn revenue. The platform takes a commission from creators when they sell their classes via the platform’s marketplace.

Course offerings and features

Skillshare offers a broad range of courses, covering various topics, from design and creativity to entrepreneurship and technology. Users can choose from thousands of classes taught by creative experts and renowned professionals.

The courses range from beginner to advanced level, making it easy for learners to choose a class that fits their skill level. Skillshare’s features allow users to learn at their own pace and in their way.

Courses are structured as a series of video lessons, and learners can watch them on-demand, pause, and resume anytime. Each course also includes project-based assignments that allow learners to apply what they have learned creatively.

Upon completion, learners receive a certificate of completion that they can share on social media.

Topics and levels of classes

Skillshare’s course offerings cover a wide range of topics, from creative arts such as music, illustration, and photography to business skills such as entrepreneurship, marketing, and finance. The platform also provides courses on technology such as coding, UX design, and web development.

Additionally, courses are tailored for different skill levels, from beginner to expert. Learners can choose a course that appeals to them, regardless of their prior knowledge or experience in a particular field.


In conclusion, Skillshare is revolutionizing how people learn online. With its unique community-based approach, users can connect and learn from some of the most talented and experienced creators across various fields.

The platform’s subscription model, referral program, and marketplace business model make it affordable for creators and learners to access quality educational content. Additionally, Skillshare’s features provide personalized, immersive, and engaging learning experiences for learners, helping them achieve their goals and develop their skills.

Skillshare Company History: Founding to Growth and Expansion

Founding and Early Stages of Skillshare

Skillshare was founded in 2010 by Michael Karnjanaprakorn and Malcolm Ong. Both Karnjanaprakorn and Ong wanted to develop a platform that could offer affordable access to education and connect learners and creators globally.

Skillshare initially started as a peer-to-peer learning platform where users could take face-to-face classes to develop and learn skills. The founding duo received their first investment through the ‘Lean Startup Machine’ program, which provided them with initial capital and mentorship.

This program was specifically targeted at startups who wanted to test their ideas and refine them before seeking further investment. Michael and Malcolm knew that to offer affordable education services, they needed to build a community of teachers who were willing to offer their skills for a nominal fee.

This community-based approach allowed the platform to create a vast repository of educational content from diverse fields, catering to the interests and needs of learners worldwide.

Growth and Expansion of Skillshare

As Skillshare gained traction, it became clear that the model of face-to-face classes was not scalable in the long term. To improve the delivery of educational content and cater to a global audience, Skillshare pivoted its business model to an online-based learning experience.

The platform transitioned into a subscription-based model, allowing users to access thousands of classes from a variety of fields over the internet. Skillshare’s initial seed funding came from Union Square Ventures and Founder Collective, allowing the company to pursue its goals of growth and expansion.

Over the next decade, the platform managed to grow its user base year-on-year, thanks to the quality of its content and the prominence of its teachers. Skillshare’s business strategy was to provide courses that would not only appeal to the masses but to also cut across price points allowing the average joe to extract significant value out of their pricing plans.

In 2012 and 2013, the platform raised $10 million in Series A and Series B financing rounds, respectively. With these successful rounds, Skillshare was able to consolidate its position as one of the leading providers of online education.

Prominent teachers, such as renowned graphic design David Roman, joined the platform, adding value to its course offerings and solidifying Skillshare’s position as a top-tier online learning platform. Skillshare continued with its aggressive fundraising process in 2018, raising $28 million in its Series C funding round from investors such as Union Square Ventures, Amasia, Learn Capital, and Burda Principal Investments.

With the funds, Skillshare launched Skillshare for Teams, expanding its corporate and business offerings by providing custom learning plans to organizations. Indeed, Skillshare’s growth and expansion over the years have been nothing short of remarkable, setting it apart from other online learning platforms.

How Does Skillshare Make Money? Subscription Revenue

Skillshare’s primary source of revenue is through the monthly subscriptions and annual memberships.

The platform offers two types of subscriptions: a monthly subscription for $15 per month or an annual subscription for $99 per year. The annual membership price works out to $8.25 per month, offering a significant saving per month over the monthly subscription.

Skillshare delivers value to its worldwide cohort of learners through its royalty pool for teachers. The platform uses a revenue-sharing model, where the content creators receive a percentage of the subscription revenue based on the number of minutes watched of their respective classes every month.

According to Skillshare, its top teachers have earned more than $100,000 a year from their course offerings, demonstrating the platform’s potential to create a source of income for creators. How Does Skillshare Make Money?

Referral Fees

Another way Skillshare makes money is through its referral program, which offers creators and users alike the opportunity to earn money through referring other users. Skillshare offers creators a commission when they refer new users to the platform using their unique referral links.

The referral program also extends to learners who can earn discounts and perks on their subscriptions by referring their friends and family to the platform.


In conclusion, Skillshare’s business model and growth have been remarkable in the decade since its inception. The platform transitioned from a face-to-face class model to an online-based learning experience, thereby increasing its scalability while maintaining quality educational content through its community-based approach.

Skillshare’s primary revenue streams are through subscription revenue and a referral program. These approaches are ingenious and show the platform’s commitment to offering affordable education to all.

Skillshare Funding, Revenue, and Valuation

Skillshare’s Funding

Skillshare has received funding from a range of venture capitalist firms and individual investors. In 2011, when Skillshare was still face-to-face oriented, the company generated funding from the Lean Machine program and received a substantial amount of angel investment from individuals, including Joshua Schachter, Dave Tisch, and Charlie O’Donnell.

The company’s early investments from reputable investors were instrumental in launching the online learning platform. Subsequently, in 2012, Skillshare raised $3.1 million in seed funding that allowed it to rapidly expand its online presence.

In 2013 the platform secured $10 million in its Series A funding led by Union Square Ventures, a venture capital firm. The substantial funding enabled Skillshare to advance its online education model and include more courses, instructors, and students from various fields of study.

In 2018, the company raised an additional $28 million in its Series C funding round. Major investors included Burda Principal Investments, Learn Capital, and Amasia.

With the closure of this funding round, Skillshare introduced its custom learning programs known as Skillshare for Teams, providing tailored courses for corporate and businesses.

Revenue and Valuation

Skillshare is a private enterprise, and since it is not public, the company has not publicly disclosed its revenue streams as well as its profitability. Skillshare’s revenue model is primarily built on subscriptions, whereby users pay for a monthly or annual subscription to access premium content.

The platform also makes revenue from a referral program offered to subscribers, where they can earn discounts and perks by referring friends and family to Skillshare. Skillshare is valued at over $1 billion following Insider’s disclosure in late 2020, ranking it among the most significant players in the online learning industry.

Although Skillshare has not yet made its Initial Public Offering, the reports on its valuation are a good indication of the company’s significant growth over the years, thanks to its innovative business model and community-based approach. Skillshare’s revenue and valuation have the potential for substantial growth, given its global reach and diverse fields of instruction provided.

The impressive funding, growth, and valuation of Skillshare have attracted significant attention from investors who see tremendous potential in the online learning industry. The potential for Skillshare to go public or sell is also high, given its current financial state and position in the market.

In conclusion, Skillshare’s funding, revenue, and valuation have been impressive in the decades since its launch. The company’s community-based approach and innovation in the online learning industry have allowed it to become a player in the education sector.

The impressive growth and grand financial backing of Skillshare have enabled the company to expand to new markets and offer even more courses globally. This growth trajectory and the company’s strong financials give investors hope for the potential of a substantial payout in the future.

In summary, Skillshare has revolutionized online learning by providing an affordable and accessible platform for learners to connect with creators across various fields. Its unique community-based approach, featuring video tutorials, project-based classes, and a certificate of completion, offers personalized and immersive experiences.

Skillshare’s business model, combining subscription fees and referral programs, ensures financial sustainability for both learners and creators. The company’s impressive funding, revenue streams, and valuation highlight its growth and potential in the online learning industry.

Skillshare’s success serves as a reminder of the power of technology and community in shaping the future of education. Embracing online learning platforms like Skillshare opens up a world of knowledge and opportunities, enabling learners to develop new skills and connect with like-minded individuals.

As the landscape of education continues to evolve, Skillshare stands as a testament to the transformative potential of online learning.

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