DataCamp secures $1 million more in funding

DataCamp offers a course on Python coding, used to develop data analysis software.
DataCamp offers a course on Python coding, used to develop data analysis software.

DataCamp, a Belgian startup that offers online courses on data analytics, has secured $1 million in additional private financing from local investors, pushing its financing total over $2 million.

Six months ago they opened an office in Cambridge, moving into the same building as startup success HubSpot to be closer to the city’s ed-tech innovators.

For $25 a month, students can choose from a list of 20 courses on subjects ranging from data manipulation and visualization to statistical modeling and machine learning. DataCamp taps professors and academics to create the courses, which typically take about 4 to 5 hours to complete.

CEO Dr. Jonathan Cornelissen said professors are already using DataCamp’s group feature, which tracks students’ progress over time and ranks them against each other according to how well they’ve mastered a skill. DataCamp says the feature can make it easier for professors to grade students’ work, while also motivating them to work harder

DataCamp says professors from Princeton, the University of Chicago, the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard are among those who have begun using the site to supplement their classes.

According to the most recent figures from the Education Technology Industry Network, a trade group, the ed-tech market topped $8.38 billion in the 2012-2013 academic year, up from $7.9 billion the year before.

DataCamp investors include Chris Lynch of Accomplice, prominent  in the Boston big data scene and former CEO of software company Vertica Systems. It sold to HP for $340 million in 2011.

DataCamp’s latest funding will pay for new courses and improved features on the website’s group function. Cornelissen said he wants to create one-stop shopping for job-seekers and students looking to work in data analysis.

“Our mission is to build a platform where someone can learn everything they need to know to become an employable data scientist,” he said.

With his online courses, Cornelissen says he’s striving to give people the skills they need to be successful in today’s job market.

“The problem that a lot of companies are facing is they’re looking for people with data science skills, and there just aren’t enough of them,” said Cornelissen. “Data literacy is the biggest need.”

DataCamp has 12 employees working on both sides of the Atlantic and wants to increase hiring in its Boston office. To date, 300,000 people have accessed DataCamp coursework.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated DataCamp’s financing total and the firm of investor Chris Lynch.

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