Education Firm Coursera Climbs in Debut After $519 Million IPO

Online education provider Coursera Inc. rose 36% in its trading debut after its initial public offering priced above a marketed range to raise $519 million.

The shares, which sold for $33 in the IPO, closed at $45 Wednesday in New York trading, giving the company a market value of $5.86 billion. Including employee stock options and restricted stock units, it would have a fully diluted valuation of $7.47 billion.

Coursera and selling stockholders sold 15.73 million shares Tuesday for $33 each after marketing them for $30 to $33.

Coursera, based in Mountain View, California, works with more than 200 universities and other educators to offer courses, certification and degree programs, according to its website.

Partly due to the boom in remote learning during the coronavirus pandemic, Coursera’s revenue climbed 60% to $294 million last year, compared with $184 million in 2019, according to its filing. Its net loss widened to $67 million from $47 million during that period.

”It was a huge forced experiment of teaching and learning online,” Chief Executive Officer Jeff Maggioncalda said in an interview. “We will not all go back to working the same way.”

Coursera raised $130 million in July at a valuation of $2.6 billion, according to PitchBook. Its backers include New Enterprise Associates, Kleiner Perkins and G Squared, the company’s filings show.

Scott Sandell, managing general partner at New Enterprise Associates and a Coursera board member, said the IPO will help increase the company’s credibility with its university partners. Online learning makes it possible for people to access high quality education anywhere, he said.

“It’s opening up a lot of access to students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to get these degrees,” Sandell said.

“We will find acquisitions to make over time,” he added.

Another online education startup, Udemy Inc., raised money at a $3 billion valuation, telling investors in November that it could pursue an IPO this year.

Coursera’s offering was led by Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The company’s shares are trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol COUR.

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