Craftsy, a Startup Synthesis of YouTube and Etsy, Cinches $50 Million in New Funding

Craftsy, a Startup Synthesis of YouTube and Etsy, Cinches $50 Million in New Funding
Image credit: Craftsy via Facebook

Free Book Preview Entrepreneur Kids: Launch Your Own Business

Submit your email to get a sneak peek of some of the fun, educational worksheets included in our NEW book for the little entrepreneur in your life.
Former Staff Writer
2 min read

Craftsy, a Denver-based startup that vends online video courses in quilting, cake decorating, photography and more, has just announced a seismic fourth funding round of $50 million, bringing the company’s total financing to $106 million.

The round was led by Stripes Group.

Craftsy, described by The New York Times as “a hybrid of YouTube and Etsy” -- with perhaps a bit of Pinterest thrown in -- is an e-learning marketplace comprising over 500 video tutorials across 16 craft categories. Check out, for instance, this $25 tutorial on how to sew your own bra.

Five hundred additional courses will be added next year, the company said in a press release. And the site also sells complementary supplies for its course roster, including fabric, yarn, baking tools and more.

Related: Entrepreneurs Who Turned Hobbies into Million-Dollar Businesses

Revenues would seem to indicate that the concept has taken off. Founded in 2010, Craftsy currently counts 5 million (predominately female) users from 180 countries, who generated $12 million in revenue in 2012 and $24 million in 2013. The company expects earnings to double again this year, according to the Times.

Nevertheless, “online learning is still in its early innings,” insists Dan Marriott, managing partner of Stripes Group and a Craftsy board member. What distinguishes Craftsy from free online learning portals like YouTube and competing Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) services, executives say, is that it rigorously screens potential instructors and also ensures high quality video resolution.

Craftsy pays experts in each respective field to teach its courses, spending roughly $15,000 to film each session. Teachers receive a 15 percent cut of revenues generated by each of their classes, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“Through the combination of our best-in-class learning platform, market-defining brand and highly engaging premium content, Craftsy is changing the paradigm of online learning,” Craftsy CEO John Levisay said in a statement.

Related: Planning a MOOC? Keep This in Mind

More from Entrepreneur
Our Franchise Advisors will guide you through the entire franchising process, for FREE!
  1. Book a one-on-one session with a Franchise Advisor
  2. Take a survey about your needs & goals
  3. Find your ideal franchise
  4. Learn about that franchise
  5. Meet the franchisor
  6. Receive the best business resources
Make sure you’re covered if an employee gets injured at work by
  • Providing us with basic information about your business
  • Verifying details about your business with one of our specialists
  • Speaking with an agent who is specifically suited to insure your business
Try a risk-free trial of Entrepreneur’s BIZ PLANNING PLUS powered by LivePlan for 60 days:
  • Get step-by-step guidance for writing your plan
  • Gain inspiration from 500+ sample plans
  • Utilize business and legal templates
  • And much more

Latest on Entrepreneur