Online education platform Nas Academy has closed a $11 million Series A round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners.
TechAviv Founder Partners, 500 Startups, Graph Ventures, Fresh.fund, and Metapurse, as well as individual investors like ex-Coinbase chief technology officer Balaji Srinivasan, Coinbase president Emilie Choi, and Oyo CEO Ritesh Agrawal participated in the round.
“This is the first time in five years that we [are taking] VC money because this is the first time we are building technology products,” said founder Nuseir Yassin, who launched the platform in 2020, in a press release.
Yassin is widely known as a video blogger and influencer whose Nas Daily social media account boasts tens of millions of followers across platforms.
The academy will allow content creators to create new courses and market them to students who may want to learn from them.
Yassin said he hopes that the online learning platform can help address the concerns, such as scams and half-baked offerings, that consumers face when signing up for online courses. “This market needs to have some trusted brands and quality assurances,” he said, in a press statement.
Since its inception, Nas Academy has hosted 250 cohorts of full courses covering topics such as storytelling, growing social media presence, building a camera presence, and so on.
“New media is increasingly dominated by creators and Nuseir and team, having been successful creators themselves, are uniquely positioned to enable creators to become educators to teach and monetise their respective crafts,” said Lightspeed Venture Partners’ Akshay Bhushan.
The creator economy has seen increasing investor interest such as via the $155 million funding round led by Tiger Global into creator platform Patreon in April, which subsequently raised Patreon’s valuation to $4 billion.
Yassin sees a massive opportunity in not only facilitating closer relationships between creators and fans but also serving as a learning platform for budding creators.
In December last year, Nas Academy had partnered with Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab to roll out a programme to identify and groom 100 budding content creators across Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines.