Udacity is one of the few edtech companies to gain “unicorn” status, meaning it is valued by investors at over $1 billion. But describing it precisely may be as difficult as finding the mythical creature itself. Is the company a new kind of (unaccredited) university? A publisher? A provider of content to traditional colleges?
These days the company does a little bit of all those things, but it doesn’t fit neatly into any of the categories. It has also recently gone through a period of change and restructuring that included big layoffs and new leadership. So where is it headed now?
EdSurge recently connected with the company’s new CEO, Gabriel Dalporto, who joined the company after eight years at LendingTree, an online lender. He described the company’s focus as refining its process for developing Nanodegree programs, the company’s name for short-term online courses for tech professionals that mix videos with project-based assignments.