CLASS101, a South Korean EdTech startup that provides online classes for art, craft, digital drawing, living, design, music and others, has raised nearly US$26 million in a Series B funding round led by US-based venture capital firm Goodwater Capital to expand its presence in the overseas market.
The round also saw participation from existing investors including Strong Ventures, KT Investment, Mirae Asset Capital and Klim Ventures.
The company will use the funding proceeds to focus on hiring more talent, as well as expanding domestic business and overseas markets in the US and Japan.
CLASS101 offers more than 2,000 classes within a raft of categories with drawing, crafts, photography, cooking, music and more. It also provides about 230 classes in the US and 220 classes in Japan.
Founded in 2015 by Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology graduates, Ko Ji-yeon, Class101 mission is to help everyone discover their talent and become the next generation of creators who inspire others.
Commenting on the funding, Founder and CEO, Ko Ji-yeon of CLASS101 said in a statement,
"We will keep supporting creators to monetize their talents and we will also allow creators to expand their revenue streams by selling their goods, digital files and more products via our platform."
The company said, currently, it has over 100,000 creators, 35 million cumulative visitors, and 3 million members on its platform.
Eric Kim, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Goodwater Capital has said,
"CLASS101 is a company that combines the advantages of Patreon and YouTube, offering tailored support for creators while fulfilling users’ learning needs."
Kim further added, "It is the fastest growing company in an economic phenomenon in which individuals follow their passions and do what they really enjoy while also making a living from it."
CLASS101 launched its platform in the US in 2019 and entered Japan last year. The startup opened an online class for kids aged under 14 in 2020.
US-based Goodwater is a global investor that has backed several tech companies such as Facebook and Spotify. It also counts Korean giants Kakao, Coupang, Viva Republica, and Danggeun Market as portfolio firms.
In 2019, it raised $10.3 million (12 billion won) in a Series A round led by SoftBank Ventures Asia along with Mirae Asset Venture Investment, KT Investment, Strong Ventures and SpringCamp.
The online learning segment in South Korea has seen deal activity in recent months. In June, Seoul-based EdTech startup Mathpresso raised $50 million in a Series C funding round from a group of investors, bringing its total funding to $105 million to date. Goodwater Capital had joined GGV Capital, Yellowdog and KDB in the round.