October 25, 2020

Thinkific Raises $22M to Meet Surging Demand in Online Courses

VANCOUVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Thinkific, the leading platform for creating and selling online courses, today announced it has closed $22M in growth financing. The round was led by Vancouver-based Rhino Ventures, who were early investors in the company, and brings the total raised to date to $25M.

Thinkific has been profitable since 2018 yet chose to raise additional funding to accelerate product innovation and continue shaping the future of online courses. “Thinkific is changing the face of digital commerce by empowering every entrepreneur and business to earn revenue and make a meaningful impact teaching what they know,” said Greg Smith, co-founder & CEO of Thinkific. Thinkific is also tripling its workforce, hiring an additional 350 team members over the next 18 months.

The financing comes at a time when the online course market (forecasted in 2019 to be worth $350B by 2025) has rapidly accelerated due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Since March, Thinkific has seen a 200% increase in online courses being created on its platform. Online training is skyrocketing across every industry – from solo-preneurs teaching guitar fundamentals, business coaching, and fitness training, to large organizations like commerce platform, Shopify, and social media platform, Hootsuite, who use Thinkific to teach their customers about entrepreneurship and social media.

“Despite the challenges of Covid-19, we’re seeing entrepreneurs use Thinkific to not only survive, but truly thrive,” said Greg. “Even before the pandemic hit, we were witnessing significant growth, but we’ve now seen the course creation industry change forever. A massive number of entrepreneurs are rapidly moving their offline businesses online to deliver exceptional teaching experiences to a new global audience. We’re also seeing a significant increase in the number of well-established businesses building out online training as a new revenue driver.”

Greg launched Thinkific in 2012 after discovering first-hand how difficult it was to create his own online course business. Today, over 50,000 entrepreneurs and businesses from virtually every industry use Thinkific to create and sell their own online courses. Together, they’ve educated more than 25 million people from 190 countries. “Not only are millions of people learning new skills, but our course creators are generating substantial revenues and building large, profitable businesses all on the Thinkific platform,” said Greg. This year, revenue earned by Thinkific course creators surpassed $650M, and this revenue is expected to more than double to over $1.5 billion by the end of 2021.

Fraser Hall, Managing Partner at Rhino Ventures said, “Working with Thinkific over the past four years has been nothing short of exceptional. It’s no secret that its business model, user numbers, and ~ 150% year-over-year revenue growth, is tracking, by stage, very closely to Shopify which is now Canada’s most valuable public company. Remarkably, we see profit margins for course creators on Thinkific average between 70-90%. It’s a model that is undoubtedly shaping a new world of knowledge entrepreneurship and one that’s accessible to any individual or organization that wants to add education as a new revenue channel.”

Thinkific’s powerful, all-in-one SaaS platform makes it incredibly simple for anyone, even those without technical experience, to create and deliver their own online courses. Thinkific is easy to use, fully customizable, and packs powerful out-of-the-box Ecommerce functionality that lets anyone sell their training to a global audience.

“It became very clear that for every hour we put into creating courses on Thinkific, we were able to benefit thousands more than the number of people we could reach by teaching in-person”, says Tim Vipond, co-founder and CEO at Corporate Finance Institute (CFI). “Thinkific is central to our success and made it easy to build the training business I’d always dreamed of.” Because of Thinkific, Tim was able to transition from working in finance to becoming a successful entrepreneur with a team of 40 and educating more than 600,000 people.

About Thinkific

Thinkific is a leading software company that makes it easy for a business of any size to create, market, and sell their own customized online courses. Thinkific helps businesses grow by sharing their knowledge, skills, passions or expertise with the world. To date, Thinkific has helped more than 50,000 entrepreneurs and businesses worldwide earn more than $650M through online courses. For more information, please visit: https://www.thinkific.com/

About Rhino Ventures

Rhino Ventures leads early-stage financing for high-growth technology startups in Western Canada. Across two funds, they’ve invested in several iconic Canadian companies including Thinkific, Article, FISPAN, and Klue; and they continue to invest in top-performing teams tackling massive challenges. Rhino Ventures is led by partners Fraser Hall and Jay Rhind and is based in Vancouver, BC. For more information, please visit: https://www.rhinovc.com/

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