Don’t worry, we’re talking about:
Spanish (Spanish), too much!
Contxto – Platzi, a Colombian start-up specializing in technology education, has landed US$6 million from Foundation Capital in Silicon Valley.
As technology becomes more and more integrated into our daily lives, the need for more professionals to understand, participate in and develop new innovations also increases. Not only is it important but fundamental. In this sense, Platzi’s goal is to prepare the new generation of technology professionals for future job demands.
Platzi, allegedly the largest tech school in the Spanish-speaking world, has announced a US$6 million funding round led by Foundation Capital. This new financing represents a higher bar for the company’s growth potential.
Born in Colombia, Platzi has offices in Bogotá, Mexico City and San Francisco. However, he already has his eyes set on other continents and other languages. For example, Spain and Brazil are two countries where Platzi aims to grow. Not only that, but the company also plans to consolidate operations in its largest markets.
To date, the startup has one million students in 20 countries. With its catalog of more than 300 courses, Platzi helps around 70% of its students to double their annual salary.
Courses range from programming, marketing, management, business, video production, photography, among others. All the while, students are spending less than a dollar a day, on average.
In addition to seeking international expansion, Platzi will open new offices with recording studios. The new 370 square meter facility will allow the Platzi Mexico team to produce new courses. There are even plans to build an auditorium for 100 people in Mexico City with a view of the Angel of Independence.
Thinking the company was considering venturing into the offline education space, I reached out to Cesar Fajardo, Platzi’s communications manager, to better understand the decision.
“The reason, rather than going into offline education, is to have a physical space for our community. A big part of Platzi’s experience is about building community, not learning alone. In Bogota, for just over six months, we have had a space for our community and other communities to meet around technology. The objective of this auditorium in Mexico City is to achieve the same objective, to give a meeting place for people who never stop learning,” Fajardo said.
Today, it employs more than 100 people. Today, it is looking to expand its educational offering in key markets like Brazil and Spain. This would allow the startup to grow by 300%.
In order to maximize its new capital as much as possible, Platzi aims to concentrate most resources in developing and strengthening its facilities in Mexico. The goal is to transform the office space into a “teaching center”.
This not only reduces costs by concentrating teachers in one location, but it is also a strategic decision. After all, Mexico is a geographically advantageous location due to its proximity to the United States and Central and South America.
In 2015, Platzi was the first Latin American startup to receive support from Y Combinator, the famous Bay Area accelerator, which has supported successful companies such as Airbnb or Dropbox.
Freddy Vega, co-founder and CEO of Platzi, said only 12% of people of college age make it into college. This leaves 88 percent at a disadvantage in the labor market. For him, the solution lies in technology.
“Technology is the only tool to reach the updating pace required by today’s education, with ever-changing talent demands,” Vega said. “Today, the market marks the lack of qualified personnel, with tools updated and renewed year after year.
“For this reason, it is time to promote a more inclusive, fast and accessible mode of education. In this way, the new generation of professionals is ready to meet the demand,” added the founder.
Statistically, Platzi has a course completion rate of over 70%. On average, people who take an average of 18 courses in a year increase their earnings between 54 and 260 percent.
The startup is focused not only on helping people find better jobs, but also on creating better jobs. For example, 20% of Platzi students have started their own business.
Education is changing. Not only are people learning new materials, but where and when they learn is also changing. Nowadays, new knowledge can be easily obtained through your computer screen.
That said, Platzi is committed to lifelong learning. Each step reinforces its intention to train the next generation of entrepreneurs and technology professionals. Moreover, the startup helps people reach their full potential.