Emeritus, which delivers non-credit online courses and programs in finance, technology and other professional disciplines from universities around the world to workers and learners in more than 80 countries, announced Thursday that it had raised $650 million to expand its reach. The investment from several major firms and funds will value Emeritus at $3.2 billion, the company said.
That’s a massive investment — among the biggest ever in education technology — for a company that many observers in the U.S. are far less likely to know than such competitors as Coursera, 2U, and the like. That’s mostly because roughly 70 percent of Emeritus’s learners are outside the United States, even though many of its institutional partners are business and engineering schools at American universities such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dartmouth, and the Universities of Pennsylvania and California at Berkeley. Emeritus also operates in parts of the world under its original name Eruditis, which it is trying to phase out.