Lynda.com, the online video education provider which has been one of the region's most successful, bootstrapped companies--is no longer bootstrapped, after inking a massive, $103M growth equity round. Lynda.com said today that it has raised a big growth round from Accel Partners and Spectrum Equity, and also reported that the firm exceeded $100M in topline revenues last year. According to Eric Robison, the firm's CEO, the funding round will go towards increasing the firm's global reach and expanding content. Lynda.com offers up online education courses on things like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Microsoft Excel, AutoCAD, and much more. Meritech Capital also participated in the funding.
The funding is the largest funding in Santa Barbara County in recent history, and among the largest fundings across all of Southern California, with the exception of a couple of late stage biotechnology deals in the past year. Robison reports that the company now has over 400 employees, spread across seven building in a Carpinteria campus, in addition to a web development branch in Calabasas, and sales offices in the UK and Australia.
Lynda.com is unique in that it started out as a bootstrapped business operated out of the personal website (Lynda.com) of co-founder Lynda Weinman, in the not-so-technology hotbed town of Ojai. Weinman started the site and associated business because--as she told us in a 2010--that there's wasn't much industry around Ojai where she could continue her work teaching computer skills. The business saw a dramatic growth when--due to the downturn of the dot com crash--the company started to post its video online.
The funding round comes as Lynda.com has been seriously ramping its executive team, with the addition of a new CTO, Fritz Habermann (former CTO of PopCap Games) in December; a Director of Public Relations, David Glaubke (formerly of ReachLocal); and a new CFO, Elaine Kitagawa (formerly of Saba Software) earlier this month. As part of the big new funding, Andrew Braccia of Accel and Vic Parker of Spectrum have both joined the company's board.