Pierre Dubuc (OpenClassrooms): “Making education accessible”

Openclassrooms was right long before others. After twelve years of existence, the start-up specializing in online education is now one of the main players in the EdTech sector. The company is very well positioned in the European market and is now targeting the North American market thanks to its recent $80 million fundraising.

The story is not trivial. It begins in a college courtyard. Pierre Dubuc is 11 years old, Mathieu Nebra is 13! The first uses a code learning website that the second launched in 1999. They will help each other. And over the years this site becomes a reference for learning programming.

Building on this experience and successful studies, the two partners will found their company in 2007. It will expand its scope over the years and will be renamed OpenClassrooms in 2013.

Conquer the West

Today Pierre Dubuc is president of one of the first online diploma schools in Europe (Bac +2 to Bac +5), covering no less than 60 professions. The company employs 400 people for an undisclosed turnover in 2020. In 2018 it was almost 15 million euros. As the health crisis has anchored distance learning in our daily lives and increased the need for distance learning and therefore the entire EdTech sector, the growth prospects are good.

OpenClassrooms has just adopted the status of a mission-driven company with the aim of “making education accessible,” affirms its president. An approach “to preserve our altruistic DNA,” he adds. A successful choice for attracting new talent. The company made 250 hires in 2020 and plans to add 150 more.

The mission also reassures customers: companies, authorities and independents. In Europe, OpenClassrooms is several steps ahead of the competition. The startup will seek to replicate this success in the United States, where Pierre Dubuc has been based since early 2021. The entrepreneur wants to accelerate, convinced that “you have to have competition to get from the top.”

*The Entrepreneur of the Year award is organized by EY in collaboration with HSBC, Verlingue, Steelcase and Bpifrance.

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