Both a desire to save money and a passion for do-it-yourself projects have fueled the DIY movement. And today that movement has become its own industry, complete with paying customers, as evidenced by Craftsy’s recent $50 million round of funding.
The online video platform creates tutorials ranging from quilting to cake decorating for which its users are charged. It currently consists of 500 video tutorials covering 16 different craft related categories. And with this additional funding, the startup expects to add another 500 tutorials over the next year.
Free platforms like YouTube and Pinterest also host their fair share of DIY and craft tutorials. But the difference between those platforms and Craftsy is the quality of both video and instruction. Craftsy rigorously screens potential instructors and even pays experts in various fields to participate. It also guarantees high quality video resolution.
While it may seem silly to some people to pay for things they could potentially find online for free, the company continues to distinguish itself as a revenue generator too. Aside from the recent funding announcement, Craftsy has also seen its earnings grow drastically in recent years. It currently has about 5 million users, who generated $24 million in 2013 compared to $12 million in 2012. And it expects another double in earnings this year.
Online learning, whether it relates to DIY projects, languages or various other fields of interest, is a growing field in and of itself.
As Dan Marriott, Craftsy board member and managing partner of Stripes Group, which led the recent funding round, told Entrepreneur, online learning is still in its early stages.
So not only has Craftsy defied the notion that online content must be free, it is also part of a larger and rapidly growing online learning trend. And the DIY movement offers a niche within that industry that has already attracted millions of paying customers.
Craftsy CEO John Levisay said in a statement:
“Through the combination of our best-in-class learning platform, market-defining brand and highly engaging premium content, Craftsy is changing the paradigm of online learning.”
I think that DIY videos are more popular today than before. I guess it has something to do with people always resorting to the Internet for all their problems. I am also guilty of this as I find it amazing to find all the answers in a single click.
It is really a great resource for everything. Videos in particular make learning new techniques really easy.
Never heard of Craftsy, but they sound like they’re definitely doing something right. It’s convenient to learn something online – you can do so in your own time. When you combine that with experts/quality, then you’re onto something.
So true! Having that quality aspect is rally important.
It’s also great that they have free mini classes that people can try out first.
Add the (mostly free-of-charge) Khan Academy and the growing number of massive online courses (MOOCs) and we can imagine that twenty years from now everyone, no matter what he/she started out as and with, can turn themselves into any profession or acquire any skill they could ever imagine and wish for.