Leave it to a serial entrepreneur to coin the phrase “teacher entrepreneur.” When Ankur Nagpal was between projects in 2013, he began teaching online and offline classes and quickly realized that there was a gap in the edtech market.
“While [edtech platforms] were great ways to get started, I felt hamstrung by the way they worked — it was really hard to build a meaningful business when other people controlled your audience and pricing,” said Nagpal.
That’s what led him to build Teachable, an online platform that allows teachers to sell their courses from their own websites.
The company launched in 2013 with Nagpal as the sole employee. The following year, he raised $1 million in funding and began building out the team, which now consists of 64 employees. By the end of the year, he said, the team will be 90 employees large.
We want to create an entire movement of ‘teacher entrepreneurs’ that are earning a full-time living creating and selling their expertise online.”
“Ultimately, our number one focus is the success of people using our platform — in the short term, our goal is to enable people to sell $200 million worth of online courses in 2018,” said Nagpal. “But thinking bigger picture, we want to create an entire movement of ‘teacher entrepreneurs’ that are earning a full-time living creating and selling their expertise online.”
To meet that goal, the company just raised $4 million in Series A funding from existing investors Accomplice Ventures and Naval Ravikant, co-founder of AngelList. The startup currently has 13 open positions, and it’s looking to bring on self starters with a passion for entrepreneurship.
“We have a lot of amazing people at the company with an entrepreneurial bent, so to succeed in our culture, we look for people that take initiative — and in response, we aim to give team members more ownership than they have likely had before at any other opportunity,” he said.
The company has raised $12.5 million to date and expects to be profitable by the end of the year.