Coursera’s S-1 dropped last Friday, giving us a glimpse of the financial impact that COVID-19 had on a large edtech company.
We worked through the numbers on the day the filing happened, but here are the core data points: Coursera’s 2020 revenue came to $293.5 million, up 59% from the year prior. During the same period, Coursera had a net loss of nearly $67 million, up 46% from the previous year’s $46.7 million net deficit.
The company is still unprofitable, despite the pandemic’s general lift to its business and customer base. But does it have a path to profits? Piggybacking from our Coinbase S-1 analysis piece, let’s ask five questions concerning Coursera’s S-1 that we’ll answer as we go.
- Has the company’s freemium push been worth it? The freemium model is a popular strategy used by edtech companies to get a large top-of-funnel pool of free users, but the true test as a business is whether you can convert those costly unpaid users into paid customers. Coursera’s historical performance provides key insights into how much this strategy, which edtech companies heavily relied on during the pandemic, costs and creates.
- Will nonconsumer revenues bolster its business health? Consumer revenue can be notoriously volatile, so we’ll explore how Coursera’s other offerings play into its overall business, and whether there is growth potential to be found.
- Does its work with universities to point to future profits? A big question for edtech founders is…