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Business Operations Business Models

How Does Coursera Make Money (Business and Revenue Model)

The Coursera business model

How Does Coursera Make Money?
Here’s what you should know:
  • What is Coursera, and how does it work?
  • How does Coursera make money?
  • Coursera Plus (Premium Membership)
  • Master’s and Bachelor’s Degree Programs (Through Coursera)
  • MasterTrack Certificates
  • Coursera For Business
  • Professional Certificate Courses (Monthly Subscription)
  • Coursera for Campus
  • Coursera for Goverment
  • What is the Coursera business and revenue model?
  • Coursera’s funding and valuation
  • Coursera’s profit and revenue

So you use Coursera and wonder “How does Coursera make money?” Here is a full, in-depth, breakdown of their seven (7) revenue streams and the different products and services they offer, as well as the Coursera business model, their year-over-year revenue, and how Coursera works.

What is Coursera, and how does it work?

Coursera is an online learning platform that provides online access to courses and degrees taught by top universities and companies that Coursera partners with from around the world.

Founded in 2012 by two Stanford University computer science professors, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, Coursera has gone on to reach over 40 million students with a $2.5 billion valuation.

Some of Coursera’s competitors include Udemy, eDX, MasterClass, and other online course providers.

Coursera App in Apple App Store | Coursera Business Model | How Does Coursera Make Money?
Source: Apple App Store

How does Coursera make money?

Coursera currently has over 40 million users, with more than 1,500 of those being enterprise clients, on its platform.

They also partner with more than 227 universities and companies – including Ivy League schools like the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Yale – across 55 countries that offer over 6,167 courses to choose from.

So, how does Coursera make money off of these 40 million users?

Below is a breakdown of Coursera’s revenue model, what services they offer, and how much they charge for each product.

Here are the 7 ways of how Coursera makes money (in 2021):

Coursera has a revenue model that makes money in seven (7) ways.

#1. Coursera Plus (Premium Membership)

Coursera Plus is a monthly subscription service that Coursera rolled out in February 2020.

Users have the option to pay monthly or yearly for membership to get unlimited access to over 3,000 courses, projects, specializations, and professional certificates.

Coursera Plus Cost:

  • $49 per month ($588 per year) or,
  • $399 per year
Coursera Plus | How Does Coursera Make Money?
Source: Coursera

#2. Master’s and Bachelor’s Degree Programs (Through Coursera)

Coursera offers degree programs that are online programs where you can earn your Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees.

Since its launch in March 2018, Coursera now offers at least 26 Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs through University partnerships across the world.

Programs can last anywhere from 12 – 36 months and pricing varies based on the program (which university, degree type, program length, in-state vs out-of-state, etc.)

Degree Programs Cost:

  • Master’s Degree Programs: $8,930 – $45,402 *
  • Bachelor’s Degree Programs: $14,472 – $21,711 **

Note: * Currently offering twenty-four (24) Master’s Degrees. ** Currently offering two (2) Bachelor’s Degrees. (as of January 2021)

#3. MasterTrack Certificates

Aside from Coursera’s Master’s and Bachelor’s Degree Programs, students also have the option to take MasterTrack courses.

These programs are portions of Master’s degree programs that have been split up into online modules (semester-length courses). This allows students to earn high-quality university-issued credentials at a fraction of a full Master’s program cost. Additionally, all completed MasterTrack coursework counts towards a full Master’s degree program, if accepted.

MasterTrack Cost:

  • MasterTrack courses cost between $2,000 and $5,000 *
Source: Coursera

* Financial aid or free audits are not available for MasterTrack courses

#4. Coursera For Business

In July 2016, Coursera introduced Coursera For Business. A business-to-business (B2B) product that provides a service to corporate clients to train employees to develop and master new skills in the workplace.

It’s reported that more than 1,500 enterprises are using Coursera for Business, including brands like L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Axa, Signify, and Danone – some of which are Fortune 500 companies.

Cost:

  • For teams (5-125 members): $400/user/year ($2,000-$50,000)
  • For enterprises: custom pricing
Source: Coursera

#5. Professional Certificate Courses (Monthly Subscription)

Another course option offered by Coursera is professional certificate courses. This is their least expensive product available aside from the few select free courses that they offer.

How it works is: (1) Students enroll in a course and (2) are charged every month until they either, earn a professional certificate by completing every course in that specialization or canceling their enrollment in the course.

Coursera suggests each course lasts approximately four to twelve weeks. This means each enrolled member is paying a total of $39 to $237 per course depending on their completion time and cost of course.

Cost:

  • Courses cost between $39 to $79 per month depending on the institution and subject

Note: Coursera also offers free courses with the option of paying $39 to $79 per month if you want the course certificate.

#6. Coursera for Campus

Coursera for Campus is used by over 3,700+ universities and colleges with more than 2 million students worldwide.

Each college or university that enrolls in the Coursera for Campus Program will get access to up to 20,000 free student licenses and over 4,200 courses to learn from.

Account Plans:

  • Student plan: free*
  • Basic plan: free*
  • Institution plan: custom pricing
Coursera for Campus | Coursera Business Model
Source: Coursera

* As of right now, the student and basic plans are free for the first year but pricing unknown after the trial period is up.

#7. Coursera for Government

Coursera is partnering with over 200 global universities and companies, like Google, Princeton University, HEC, and Yale, to help government organizations and countries around the world strengthen their workforce through developing new skills for new jobs.

Some government agencies using this Coursera service are the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Civil Service College, and AIFC Bureau among others.

Source: Coursera

What is the Coursera business and revenue model?

Coursera makes money through a few revenue models that they combine within their company, they are:

  • Software as a service (SaaS) business model
  • Marketplace business model
  • Freemium (upselling) business model
  • Business-to-business (B2B) revenue model

Coursera’s funding and valuation

According to Coursera’s Crunchbase profile, Coursera has raised $443.1 million over 9 rounds which now values the company at $2.5 billion as of summer 2020.

Coursera’s profit and revenue

Forbes estimated Coursera had revenues of $225 million in 2019 and could be as high as $337.5 million in 2020. But other than these projections, no official financial statements have been released from Coursera directly.