MasterClass is creating an engineering operation in Waterloo Region that will help the San Francisco-based startup expand its video-streaming platform, which connects learners with celebrity teachers, the company announced today.
“We chose the Kitchener-Waterloo area because of its proximity to the University of Waterloo and to sit alongside the thriving, co-operative community of technology companies at all stages of growth,” said Paul Bankhead, Chief Product Officer. “I’ve had great experiences working with Waterloo-based technical teams in the past and am excited to partner with Canada’s thriving tech community to support our expansion.”
MasterClass said its new Waterloo engineering operation will be led by local hires Matt Elgie, who held senior leadership roles at Barracuda FX, Broadway Technology and Sandvine, and James Spere, who held senior leadership roles at ProNavigator, Roadmunk and D2L.
In response to questions from Tech News, the company said that it “plans to hire dozens of employees, including engineers across the full development stack... in addition to product managers, designers, technical program managers, data scientists and data engineers.
“Our first hires will start remotely in early July, with a physical office to come when we feel it is safe to return to in-person work. At this time, we don’t know exactly where this office will be.”
MasterClass was started in 2015 by former venture capitalist David Rogier. The concept uses high-quality video production and streaming technology to connect e-learners with celebrity experts. Want to learn how to write fiction? Enrol in a class taught by Margaret Atwood, David Mamet or Aaron Sorkin. How about acting? Check out classes by Helen Mirren or Samuel L. Jackson. Want to know more about how to sing and write music? Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera and Reba McEntire can help with that.
Each class features about 20 video lessons of about 10 minutes each, according to MasterClass. Subscribers can view lessons one at a time or all at once.
MasterClass completed a US$225-million Series F raise in May. It has now raised US$475 million in total and has been valued at US$2.75 billion.
The company said it is using the capital from last month’s raise to advance strategic initiatives such as increased content production, international expansion, and the launch of a new enterprise business for both small-to-medium size businesses and larger corporations.