Platzi – Latin America Focused Online Training Platform Raises $6M in Series A

Founded in 2014 by Christian Van Der Henst and John Freddy Vega, Platzi (formerly, an online education platform offering courses on programming, design, marketing and business to Latin American market has raised $6M in Series A. The funding round was led by Palo Alto based VC firm, Foundation Capital in participation with Mountain Nazca, Omidyar Network, Y Combinator and 500 Startups.

Platzi was graduated from Y Combinator’s Winter 2015 batch and was added to our portfolio in the same year. Both, Christian Van Der Henst and John Freddy Vega were born in Latin America and courses offered by them on Platzi are also in Spanish and Portuguese languages. It is also believed that Platzi was the first Latin American market-focused startup graduated from Y Combinator.

Platzi has served one million students to date, and the company claims its students’ course completion rates hover between 50 and 70 percent. The company also boasts a sizable headcount of 117 full-time employees.

The company offers subscription plans at $29 a month or $299 a year, with discounts for volume purchases. It provides more than 300 courses and produces 30 new courses (or course updates) a month, accepting payment in 20 different currencies.

In total, Platzi has raised $8.3 million. The fresh funding round will support building more classes on the platform, including in Portuguese, so that Platzi can grow in Brazil. Spain is another market Platzi has targeted for growth, Vega says.

Foundation Partner Rodolfo Gonzalez says Platzi caught his firm’s attention when it became one of the first Latin America-focused graduates of the Y Combinator accelerator. (Vega is from Colombia and co-founder, Van Der Henst, is from Guatemala.)

“Right now Latin America is super hot and the need for talent is amazing,” says Vega, age 33. “We’re training the next generation.”

Vega wants to add to the number of large-scale clients and partners—a list that includes IBM, Colombia and Facebook—that use Platzi’s platform to train Spanish-speakers. For now, he estimates that corporate training comprises 20 percent of the business, with the rest driven by aspiring programmers and other students. He’d like to see corporate clients contribute as much as half of Platzi’s revenue in the near future.

Vega has big plans for his company, aspiring to become the largest online teacher for Latin America. But he tries to be realistic about his impact.

“A lot of companies talk about changing the world,” he says. “We’re not going to be able to change the world, but we may be able to change the economy of a region.”

Please read full story at EdSurge.