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Written by:
Martin Barrett
Last Updated:

Who Owns Udacity? [Company Explored]

Udacity is an online learning platform that was founded by three former Stanford University professors, including Sebastian Thrun, David S. Stevenson, and Mike Sokolski.

They wanted to make online education accessible for everyone, regardless of where you live or what language you speak.

The founders came up with the idea while attending a conference about computer science education. They realized there wasn’t much choice for people interested in getting into the field. So, they set out to build a solution.

In 2012, they launched Udacity, offering free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). These are completely online classes taught by industry professionals.

Students pay nothing upfront and can take the course over several weeks or months.

Today, Udacity offers thousands of MOOCs in areas like artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, digital marketing, data science, web development, and many others.

Are you ready to know who owns Udacity?

The Value Of A Udacity Course

Udacity is an international, free, open-source, online, life-learning network that connects education and job opportunities.

The founders believe everyone deserves access to high-quality education, regardless of background or income level. Their mission is to help people gain the programming skills needed to succeed in today’s global economy.

They provide Udacity students with the opportunity to learn what they want, where they want, and when they want. The courses are taught by industry experts and distributed over multiple platforms including YouTube, iTunes, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Quora.

The courses cover everything from the basic coding of a data analyst to topics such as AI, blockchain, and VR/AR. 

Who are the founders?


Online Courses Taught by Experts

  • Get the skills you need
  • Learn at your own pace

"I couldn't be more excited!"

Try Udacity Now

David Stevens 

David Stevens is a serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist, educator, author, inventor, and technology pioneer.

His career spans over 25 years, including stints at Yahoo!, Carnegie Mellon University, Stanford University, Udacity, and now XPRIZE.

David has been recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of America’s Top Young Entrepreneurs, Inc. Magazine as one of Silicon Valley’s Most Influential People, and Business Insider as one of the World’s 10 Most Innovative CEOs.

In addition, he was named one of Fast Company’s Heroes, MIT Technology Review’s TR35, and the recipient of the prestigious National Medal of Technology.

In 2007, he founded Udacity, where he serves as Chief Executive Officer. At Udacity, he led the creation of the world’s first Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

David holds degrees in computer science and electrical engineering from Stanford University, as well as a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University.

Sebastian Thrun

Inventor, entrepreneur, machine learning engineer, and academic, Sebastian Thrun is one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent figures. 

His work spans many industries, and autonomous systems, including robotics, autonomous driving, artificial intelligence, and education. 

At age 30, he co-founded Google X, the secretive lab within Google that focuses on developing futuristic technologies like self-driving cars, wearable technology, and augmented reality.

In 2017, he stepped down from his role as head of Google X and became the chief executive officer of the nonprofit foundation, OpenAI as well as being the co-founder of Udacity. 

Who Owns Udacity? [Company Explored]

Mike Sokolsky 

The current CEO of Udacity is Mike Sokolsky, who joined the company in 2016.

Before that, he served as VP of Product Management at Coursera, where he built the product team responsible for building out Coursera’s massive open online course (MOOC) offering. 

Prior to joining Coursera, Mike worked at Google, where he led teams focused on mobile advertising products. He holds a B.A. in Computer Science & Mathematics from Stanford University.

He is the former CEO of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, where he helped develop robots capable of performing complex tasks such as playing Go, navigating a house, and even teaching themselves how to play chess. 

He led the development of several open-source projects including ROS, a popular robot operating system used by thousands of developers around the world.

In 2012, he joined the faculty of Stanford University, where he teaches students about artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, and computer vision.

Mike is also a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Royal Society of Canada.


The world’s leading online learning platform for technical skills development is in partnership with some of the most prominent companies in tech and beyond, including Amazon Alexa, Auro Technologies, Bosch, Crowd AI, Dataspeed, Harman, Intel, LucidVR, Mobvoi, Node, Samsung, Slack, Telenet, Telefonica Deutschland, UploadVR, Unity, Vinted, Wix, Workday, Zendesk, etc.

In addition to providing access to thousands of courses across multiple disciplines, Udacity’s partnerships make it possible for students to learn directly from industry experts through live virtual sessions.


Online Courses Taught by Experts

  • Get the skills you need
  • Learn at your own pace

"I couldn't be more excited!"

Try Udacity Now

Business Model 

The Udacity Nanodegree program provides free online training courses for students interested in learning about technology. They offer a variety of courses ranging to make a full-stack web developer to a senior web developer.

These courses are designed to help people gain knowledge and skills in specific areas. 

Students can enroll in these courses either for free or for a fee. Students enrolled in a course receive certificates upon completion. 


Over the course of 2020, Udacity saw tremendous growth in our enterprise and government customers.

In addition, they launched a brand new program called Udacity+ to help students find the university-style courses they needed to pursue their career goals. 

Furthermore, they also added a team dedicated to helping students succeed in their studies. 

Last year, they celebrated 14 million users, one and a half million completed projects, and nearly 170,000 Nanodegrees awarded.

They also saw incredible progress in terms of financial performance. Overall revenues grew substantially in the first six months of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

Their gross profit margin improved by 5 percentage points. They are now triple-staffed in sales and customer success to serve the growing customer base. 


Today, more than 100,000 students have signed up for one of the many Udacity courses. Many of them are working professionals who want to get ahead in their fields. 

Udacity has been covered extensively in leading publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, TechCrunch, Wired Magazine, Business Insider, Fast Company, VentureBeat, Mashable, and more.

In fact, it is one of the top 10 most-viewed educational videos on YouTube. 

The company has also partnered with companies to create specialized courses that help them train their own employees, such as Google Cloud Computing Platform and Adobe.

Udacity is now worth $1 billion and recently raised $75 million from investors like Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, and Spark Capital.