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Martin Barrett
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Did Microsoft Purchase Pluralsight? [Company Explained]

Did Microsoft Buy Pluralsight? [Company Explained]

Pluralsight is an online learning platform that specializes in courses that help people learn how to code and program, as well as tons of information on web and software development in general. It’s arguably the place to go if you’re looking to learn more about these cloud-based computing environments skills.

However, this company didn’t just pop out of nowhere. And it certainly doesn’t exist in a vacuum. As the technology skills and creative professionals that it teaches become increasingly profitable and useful to have, many larger companies and corporations have shown great interest in purchasing the parent company for their own needs.

And that’s including many major investment firms that have come and gone over the years.

In this article, we’re going to take you through the history of Pluralsight, as well as how it ended up under the ownership of one of the largest and most influential tech companies in the world and then you will know how did Microsoft buy Pluralsight.


So, in an article that discusses the history of Pluralsight, where better a place to start than at the beginning?

Pluralsight was first founded in Utah in 2004, by founders Aaron Skonnard, Keith Brown, Fritz Onion, and Bill Williams, just four people, with each of them, contributed directly to the founding of the company around $5,000 at the time. No external funding attempts were made by the company until much later.

The company first started out providing training events for both business and training events, where an instructor would be sent out to help train clients and customers on a given subject. This would be their primary model for the first 3 years of the company’s life.

Early History, Moving Online & Early Success

By 2007, the company had decided to move from an in-person style model to providing their training course online. At this point, most of their funding still came from internally, as did much of their resource and knowledge pool. However, this was set to change in the early 2010s.

By 2011, Pluralsight was quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing companies in the country, ranking at 9th position in Inc.’s technology division and 19th overall in Utah.

From this point, on, Pluralsight was starting to become a major player in its field of business, especially as it started procuring sources of external funding.

Their first major example of venture funding happened in 2012, when they managed to raise $27 million through A series funding from Insight Venture Partners, followed by B series funding by the same venture company in 2013, with a further $2.5 million in 2014.


Up to around 2013, Pluralsight had been organically growing its internal base of hands-on learning resources and instructor base from known individuals related to and within the company.

However, by the time we reach 2013, the company had decided that the best course of action was to start acquiring other teaching and e-learning companies to help bolster its catalog, as well as its executive leadership team and available technologies.

Did Microsoft Buy Pluralsight


The first notable purchase that they made was of PeepCode in July 2013, a company that specialized in open-source code training for web and tech developers.

Their catalog of existing courses bolstered Pluralsight’s own by over 100, bringing in a whole new series of potential clients and customers that were looking for further skill assessments and development, many of who worked on technologies and software and coding languages made by Microsoft like Microsoft Azure and others.

That was shortly followed by Pluralsight’s acquisition of another popular training company Train Signal, an information tech company based in Chicago, in the same month.

This single purchase almost doubled Pluralsight’s market value, along with getting 35 experienced instructors, administration and other employees, and even their office in Chicago, which Pluralsight would keep as a satellite office.

This month sets the trend for many of Pluralsight’s acquisitions for the foreseeable future.

It was also in 2013 that Pluralsight author Scott Allen first receives over $1 million in teaching and royalty fees, becoming the first in the company to do so, and setting a high benchmark for other instructors to aim for.

2013 Onwards

The next big purchase that Pluralsight makes is Tekpub, a tech company that specializes in screencast technologies in several different scripts, further solidifying open-source teaching resources as one of their new major education sectors.

Digital Tutors would be their next great acquisition in April 2014, as both experienced tutors and staff, along with their 3,000+ learning Pluralsight courses like data science to increase their internal catalog even more.

Further purchases from other tech companies helped establish Pluralsight as the go-to place for online code and development learning courses.

Purchased By Vista Equity

By the time we get to late 2020, Pluralsight has already become one of the largest e-learning companies in the business, and easily one of the biggest when it comes to virtually any subject or qualification that is IT-related.

They had over 18,000 corporate clients as of that point, which included a massive number of Fortune 500 companies, around 70%.

After being openly traded on the market for most of the company’s history, Pluralsight would eventually be acquired by Vista Equity Partners, with the deal to be finalized and completed in mid-2021.

So, contrary to popular belief, Pluralsight is not owned by Microsoft.


Along with the company’s massive growth and acquisitions over the years, Pluralsight has also been involved in a number of major partnerships over the last 15 years.

Their first major venture into this particular aspect of tech development came in 2012 when they partnered up with Microsoft to allow Microsoft Development Network (MSDN) to use and sign up for many of their courses that could be taken through its Excellence Engineering program at the time.

This business relationship would continue into 2014 when the two companies would establish a joint 12-month subscription program for MSDN users to even more of Pluralsight’s programs and training courses.

Around the same time, in 2012, Pluralsight would also start offering coding boot camps for children 10 and older. This younger education would be further cemented when the company partnered with Utah’s offices of Economic Development to offer K-12 teachers subscription programs to their courses.

In 2017, Pluralsight would even partner with Google to offer scholarships to over 100,000 developers learning to gain experiences and qualifications in virtually all of their accumulated fields, from machine learning and artificial intelligence to web and mobile learning.

And, eventually, Pluralsight would partner again with Microsoft in 2021 to integrate their platform with Microsoft Viva.

As you may have noticed, the relationship between Microsoft and Pluralsight goes back over 10 years at this point, with the companies being private equity firm partners in many training programs.

This is likely where the idea that the company Pluralsight is owned by Microsoft comes from. Because they have regular business and technology partnerships with each other in many similar fields, there has been a close association between the two brands for quite some time at this point.

Final Thoughts

So, to bring things back to the question that we started with, no. Pluralsight is not in itself owned by Microsoft Corporation, being owned by a completely different venture firm.

However, while it is true that Microsoft does not own this e-learning platform, that perception isn’t entirely based on anything. It comes from a long history of these two companies and their many partnerships.

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