Arts and Crafts-Focused Online Ed Site Craftsy Sews Up $50M Round

Craftsy continues its march to take over the e-learning world, one online instructional video—and megabucks funding round—at a time.

The Denver-based company announced it has closed a $50 million Series D round led by the Stripes Group, a New York City-based growth equity firm. Prior investors Foundry Group, Tiger Global, Adams Street Partners, Access Venture Partners, and Silicon Valley Bank also participated.

Craftsy produces online instructional courses built around HD videos taught by vetted instructors. The classes focus on arts and crafts, such as knitting, quilting, painting, and photography.

Users can complete the course at their own speed using their computers or mobile devices, ask instructors questions, and interact with other users. Earlier this year, Craftsy enrolled its five millionth registered user. The courses generally cost between $20 and $50, and the company also makes money by selling access to its classes and supplies.

While online education sites are proliferating, Craftsy co-founder and CEO John Levisay told the New York Times his company has established an edge by becoming an easy place to find high-quality classes from professional instructors. The site also is easy to use, both for students and instructors who aren’t tech savvy.

Additionally, Craftsy’s courses are in hobbies that generally appeal to women, an overlooked market segment that the company believes could be a $100 billion addressable market.

The round brings the amount the company, which is legally known as Sympoz, has raised to nearly $106 million. Craftsy was founded in 2010.

A release from Craftsy said the round is “earmarked for strategic growth.”

That means a lot more online courses. Craftsy currently has more than 550 courses online, and it plans to add more than 500 more within the next year.

It also means more partnerships with arts-and-crafts focused retailers and consumer packaged goods manufacturers that sell supplies to Craftsy’s users. An example is Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores.

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