Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft Corp., gestures during a panel meeting on the second day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 Participates in the 48th annual conference of the World Economic Forum in Davos until January 26th.
Jason Alden | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Microsoft has acquired TakeLessons, a start-up with a website that lets people book paid online and face-to-face courses on a variety of topics, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed on Friday. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The move shows that Microsoft remains committed to empowering people to find educational content, and not just in the business realm. More than 6% of Microsoft’s revenue comes from LinkedIn, and the professional networking platform generates a portion of its revenue from premium subscriptions that include access to LinkedIn Learning, which subscribers can use to take online courses.
LinkedIn is different from TakeLessons in that it offers live training for private lessons from instructors and live group lessons. While LinkedIn Learning specializes in content related to leadership, sales, and other business topics, TakeLessons offers courses on many consumer-facing topics, including music, languages, and the arts.
“TakeLessons is a unique, trusted online marketplace that connects diverse, qualified and certified teachers with students of all ages who are pursuing their goals,” a Microsoft spokesperson told CNBC in an email. “This acquisition is in response to the growing demand for personalized hybrid offerings and expands our product offering for TakeLessons customers, a leading online learning platform.”
TakeLessons was founded in 2006 and is based in San Diego. Investors include Crosslink Capital, Moore Venture Partners, SoftTech VC and Triangle Peak Partners.
“With the help and courage of the extraordinary TakeLessons team, hundreds of millions of people from all over the world have visited TakeLessons and taken many, many millions of minutes of lessons – everything from STEM to Farsi, learned guitar, horse riding and parkour, tennis, singing and yes , even spice up Excel macros, “wrote Steven Cox, founder and CEO of TakeLessons, in a LinkedIn post.
The coronavirus pandemic has helped online learning. Covid “accelerated the market for online learning solutions,” Coursera said earlier this year when it went public. And the number of hours people spent on LinkedIn Learning doubled in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told analysts in a conference call in January.
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