OpenClassrooms Seizes Its Opening

Translated by Nina Fink Publié le
OpenClassrooms Seizes Its Opening
Pierre Dubuc and Mathieu Nebra, cofounders of OpenClassrooms. // ©  Julien Faure / R.E.A
OpenClassrooms recently shared some exciting news. On May 16th, the French-founded online degree program platform announced it had raised $60 million. To find out more about OpenClassrooms’ ambitions and impact on French EdTech, EducPros spoke with cofounder Pierre Dubuc.

How did you prepare for the new round of funding you received from a group of investors led by the American growth equity firm General Atlantic, together with Alven, Citizen Capital and Bpifrance’s Ambition numérique fund?

Originally, we wanted to schedule it closer to the end of 2018. However, one thing led to another and things sped up these past few months. Investors expressed a lot of interest.

One investor is the American firm General Atlantic. Did the Google grant you received increase your visibility in the U.S.?

The grant certainly helped but it didn’t start there. I spend a lot of time developing and publicizing our business in the U.S. and in California in particular.

What are your development goals?

We help companies identify the profiles they need and then we use that information to build custom programs. We train people in the workforce on digital transformation and marketing topics. We also offer programs to individuals whose jobs are going to disappear in the next three years so that they can bounce back.

You’ve announced plans to recruit close to 100 people this year. What are the positions?

We are looking for many teachers, including educational engineers and video experts. We’ll also be hiring for more specific jobs, such as accreditation, sales and marketing managers both in France and abroad. Lastly, we’ll be recruiting staff in data, engineering, development, UX, customer service and career coaching.

Do you aim to compete with the premier higher education institutions in France?

Some of them view us as competition. In reality, however, the top engineering and business schools are more likely to partner with us, as are other schools. We work in cooperation with them through partnerships like the one we formed with CentraleSupélec.

We don’t offer classroom learning. Our focus is on continuing education. When it comes to undergraduate degrees, we mainly target "excluded" populations: dropouts, people living in rural areas and the chronically unemployed. Regular high school graduates don’t think to start their undergraduate studies with OpenClassrooms.

Translated by Nina Fink | Publié le