Udemy Dublin

Udemy to open first Overseas Office in Dublin

After Udemy’s announcement to add three senior members to its management team to focus on scale and growth, the US online course marketplace announces that it will establish a European presence in Dublin, Ireland.

The Irish Times reports that the Udemy was currently recruiting talent for its Irish presence including a country manager, product managers and senior software engineers.

The European expansion started about a year ago with the launch of Udemy localizations in seven languages under co-founder and then CEO Eren Bali. Bali who grew up in Turkey and relocated to the U.S. without speaking English. He stated that

“The internationalization of Udemy is a deeply personal project for me. I grew up in a single room schoolhouse in Southeastern Turkey, and while the internet helped me lift myself up in ways I never imagined possible, so much of the great learning content available online is only in English. I couldn’t be more excited to be part of a force that helps remove this language barrier for good, and I hope by localizing Udemy into these 11 languages, we will be one step closer to truly empowering any expert anywhere in the world to give back and teach the next generation.”

Therefore, the European expansion also includes the search for talented, multilingual instructors who will create new courses in their respective first language, a project that Udemy’s CEO Dennis Yang announced after the latest $32 million round in May.

Udemy’s European offices will be located in Dublin’s Digital Hub alongside companies like Etsy, Eventbrite, Athena Media or Avvivo.

The decision to come to Europe and thus the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) will have implications on the business of European competitors in the market, one way or the other.

It is a well-known fact that local versions of a business, one might call them clones, work quite well in Europe. Sometimes this is because a service or product of a US-based company is not available to Europeans yet, which gives smart entrepreneurs the possibility to establish the concept before the American giant might be willing to set foot here. More often it is the case that European entrepreneurs are scanning the market and are actively looking for ideas that work well in the States in order to flip the business soon and eventually to sell to the US company.

Late last year we reported on a new round of funding for the Spanish course marketplace Floqq, founded in 2012 and serves a Spanish-speaking audience and that now wants to spread into the Latin American markets. Cursopedia is another Spanish competitor that essentially works the same market.

If we look at it from the positive side, Floqq and some of the other European course marketplaces, might get their chance to be acquired or at least aquihired by Udemy in the near future. Europeans like their localised versions. Of course, it remains the question of how much an aquihire in this market is even worth.

On the other hand, I feel that acquisitions of European course marketplaces might be of less relevance compared with tech acquisitions in other verticals of the education market. Essentially the success of a course marketplace is built upon its ability to attract top talent aka course creators for its site. If you keep those top creators happy, the customers and other creators will follow.

In Udemy’s case I’m not sure why it would be that much easier or efficient to buy a say Floqq when they could just identify and contact the key creators for each respective market anyway. That’s a strategy Udemy co-founder Gagan Biyani applied expertly early on. It all comes down to the price for convenience versus hustling, I suppose.

Further Reading

Udemy to establish European headquarters in Dublin | The Irish Times

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Kirsten Winkler

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at EDUKWEST
Kirsten Winkler is the founder and editor of EDUKWEST.

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