Codecademy, the New York-based online interactive platform that offers coding classes in a wide variety of programming languages, is a little like background noise; it’s been operating reliably since founder Zach Sims created the company while still a Columbia University student in 2011. It’s a brand that people know and that millions have used, but because it has grown steadily, without headline-making funding rounds — or, conversely, newsworthy layoffs — the 90-person company doesn’t routinely attract a lot of press attention.
That’s fine with Sims, who we spoke with last week following the most recent bout of bad publicity for Lambda School, a younger rival that has raised $48 million from investors, compared with the $42.5 million that Codecademy has raised over time. Sims says his capital-efficient company is continuing to chug along nicely.
The question, increasingly, is whether that’s “nice” enough for VCs. Indeed, Codecademy — like a lot of startups right now — is in the awkward position of being a smart, solid, fast but not massively growing business. In the year 2020, that raises questions about next steps.