Unbundling Higher Education: Our investment in Emeritus
The traditional model of higher education is no longer suited for the present. People are looking to continuously upskill themselves online. More importantly, they want to learn from the best brands. Companies, too, are looking to hire people with modern and relevant skill sets.
Historically, the best quality higher education has been attainable only to a select few. Universities tightly controlled their intake and students needed to attend these universities in person to benefit from their expertise. While the theme of giving access to quality education has always been important to the top universities, they had little expertise in taking their knowledge to global learners.
They have taken a unique approach to solving this - teaching next-gen skills to professionals globally through cohort-based learning in partnership with the world's best universities. Rather than trying to replace universities, Emeritus empowers them and takes hundreds of years of institutional knowledge, pedagogical expertise and brand value to global learners.
Ashwin and Chaitanya started Emeritus over a decade ago with the aim of providing the best quality university education to professionals and students around the world. They have built a global platform that helps the top universities in the world, such as Columbia, INSEAD, London Business School, MIT, SDA Bocconi to provide the best quality upskilling and education to students through different sets of courses and delivery mechanisms.
Accel has tracked the Emeritus team for over 5 years and has always been impressed with their vision and far-reaching ambition. Ashwin, Chaitanya and team have the perfect mix of entrepreneurship, execution chops and a deep understanding of higher education. As we dug deeper, what stood out to us was the trust that universities placed in Emeritus and their team. Their university partners have strong brands and are extremely selective in establishing partnerships with third parties.
The Emeritus team has perfected the art of preserving the university's culture and brand while helping them create and distribute online courses that scale effectively. This was reflected in our conversations with universities. Every university we spoke to considered Emeritus to be an extension of themselves and the go-to partner in their evolution from a physical entity to a repository of knowledge and expertise delivered through multiple channels. The trust they share with Emeritus also showed in the numbers. Over the last 2 years, Emeritus has added dozens of top university partners, deepened their relationships with their existing partners by adding hundreds of new courses and impacted the lives of many students all over the world.
As the skills needed to be successful in today's workplace evolve at a pace faster than ever before, Emeritus' vision is to become the go-to platform for professionals looking to upskill themselves, in partnership with the world's best universities. Envision a future in which a full-stack of skills for a software engineering leader can be learned through a boot camp from MIT, Algorithms from Carnegie Mellon, Machine Learning from Columbia and the Business of AI from London Business School. That's a future powered by Emeritus.
We are excited to lead this round of investment in Emeritus along with our friends at Softbank Vision Fund 2 and CPPIB while joining Prosus/ Naspers, Sequoia Capital India, Bertelsman, Chan Zuckerberg, and Leeds Illuminate to help drive the future of higher education.
Anand, Manasi and Rachit