MasterClass Logo.jpg
Type of site
FoundedOctober 2014; 6 years ago (2014-10) (as Yanka Industries)
HeadquartersSan Francisco, California, U.S.
Founder(s)David Rogier
Aaron Rasmussen
Key peopleDavid Rogier (CEO)[1]
Vanna Krantz (CFO)[2]
IndustryOnline education

Yanka Industries, Inc., doing business as MasterClass, is an American online education subscription platform on which students can access tutorials and lectures pre-recorded by experts in various fields.

The concept for MasterClass was conceived by David Rogier and developed with Aaron Rasmussen.[3]


MasterClass was founded by David Rogier while a student at Stanford University, originally under the name "Yanka Industries".[4][5] Rogier, who continues to serve as chief executive officer (CEO),[6] asked Aaron Rasmussen to join the company as a co-founder and chief technology officer; Rasmussen would also serve as creative director,[7] before leaving in January 2017.[5] The website launched under the MasterClass name on May 12, 2015.[8][9][10]

MasterClass launched in 2015 with three instructors, and twelve classes were added in 2017.[8][11] In late 2017, an acting class given by Kevin Spacey was removed after multiple sexual assault allegations were publicly made against the actor.[12] By late 2018 MasterClass had about 50 classes and 1,000 lessons.[13] Support for mobile devices was first added in April 2018.[14]

MasterClass was started with $4.5 million in initial funding and two seed-funding rounds totaling $1.9 million.[15] This was followed by $15 million in funding announced in 2016,[15] $35 million in 2017,[16] and $80 million in 2018.[14] In May 2020, MasterClass raised $100 million in a Series E funding round led by Fidelity Investments,[17] bringing total funding to approximately $240 million.[18]

In May 2021, the company received $225 million in a Series F round, giving it a $2.75 billion valuation according to CNBC reporting.[19]


MasterClass produces online classes with well-known instructors in their field of expertise.[20] Classes cover topics like writing, sports, and cooking.[21] As of 2019, the company was expanding into politics, economics, and video game design.[22] Many instructors do live demonstrations if the topic is easy to illustrate visually, while writers lecture.[22]

The courses are available through an annual subscription.[23] The classes are typically not interactive, though at least one course included interactive assignments where the student acted with other students, either in person or over Skype.[24][25]


Reviewers have noted that some of the courses, such as those related to the performing arts, require students to already have some basic proficiency. The courses were also noted for their high production values, and for inspiring students to continue to pursue the subject matter. Exposure to popular celebrities was also reported as a benefit.[26][27][28][29][30][31] The Verge noted that while the subscriptions initially lasted a lifetime, different courses have different replay value. The publication also noted the challenge of keeping students on the site to take additional classes.[32]

In 2019, chef Dominique Ansel's MasterClass on French pastries received a James Beard Foundation Broadcast Media Award in the Online Video, Fixed Location and/or Instructional category.[33][34]

In 2020, MasterClass won two Webby Awards, for Education & Reference in the Apps, Mobile & Voice category, and for Media Streaming in the Web category.[35]

In 2021, MasterClass again won two Webby Awards, as well as a Webby People's Voice Award.[36]

Notable instructors

Notable past and present instructors include:[37][38]


  1. ^ "MasterClass, the education platform featuring all-star instructors, will soon teach you how to run for office, too – TechCrunch". TechCrunch – Startup and Technology News. October 3, 2018. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  2. ^ Spangler, Todd (January 6, 2021). "Disney Streaming CFO Vanna Krantz Joins MasterClass as Finance Chief". Variety. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  3. ^ Loizos, Connie (February 23, 2016). "MasterClass Raises $15 Million For Online Classes Taught By Celebrities". TechCrunch. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  4. ^ Sahadi, Jeanne (January 23, 2020). "What 12 minutes with a famous CEO can teach you". CNN Business. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Chocano, Carina (September 2020). "What Is MasterClass Actually Selling?". The Atlantic. Emerson Collective. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  6. ^ "40 Under 40: Media and Entertainment: David Rogier". Fortune. 2020. ISSN 0015-8259. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  7. ^ Ha, Anthony (August 13, 2019). "MasterClass founder launches Outlier, offering online courses for college credit". TechCrunch. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  8. ^ a b Gardner, Chris (May 12, 2015). "Dustin Hoffman, Serena Williams and James Patterson Team for MasterClass Project". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  9. ^ Holson, Laura (September 27, 2015). "How to Take a Class From Serena Williams and Usher". The New York Times. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  10. ^ Kokalitcheva, Kia (February 23, 2016). "Here's How To Learn Acting From Kevin Spacey and Singing from Christina Aguilera". Fortune. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  11. ^ Spangler, Todd (April 20, 2017). "David Mamet to Teach Online Drama Writing Course". Variety. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  12. ^ Hayes, Dade (October 31, 2017). "Kevin Spacey MasterClass Dropped From Online Instructional Video Hub". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  13. ^ Chan, Tim (October 27, 2018). "Online Classes to Take If You Want to Make It in the Movie Business". Variety.
  14. ^ a b Clark, Kate (September 6, 2018). "MasterClass raises $80M after doubling sales last year". TechCrunch. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  15. ^ a b Spangler, Todd (February 23, 2016). "Startup MasterClass Raises $15 Million, Launches Kevin Spacey Acting Tutorial". Variety.
  16. ^ Spangler, Todd (March 28, 2017). "MasterClass, Purveyor of Celebrity Online Courses, Raises $35 Million Led by IVP". Variety. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  17. ^ Kellaher, Colin (May 20, 2020). "MasterClass Raises $100 Million in Series E Round Led by Fidelity". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  18. ^ "Fundraising lessons from David Rogier of MasterClass". TechCrunch. September 23, 2020. Retrieved February 18, 2021.(subscription required)
  19. ^ Bosa, Deirdre; Batchelor, Laura (May 13, 2021). "MasterClass more than triples valuation in one year". CNBC. Retrieved June 17, 2021.
  20. ^ McCarvel, Nick (May 12, 2015). "Serena Williams helping tennis players reach their goals". USA TODAY. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  21. ^ Spangler, Todd (August 9, 2018). "Ken Burns to Launch Documentary Filmmaking Course Online With MasterClass". Variety. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  22. ^ a b Rudin, David S. (January 16, 2019). "MasterClass sells the idea that successful people have something to teach you". Vox. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  23. ^ "The 15 best online courses on MasterClass, from acting with Samuel L. Jackson to writing with Margaret Atwood". Business Insider. February 9, 2021. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  24. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr (April 20, 2017). "David Mamet Teaches Master Class On Writing For Stage & Screen". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  25. ^ Lusher, Adam (May 29, 2015). "Dustin Hoffman's online acting class: What it's like to learn from the master". The Independent. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  26. ^ Reed, Sam (May 10, 2016). "Christina Aguilera's MasterClass in Singing Through the Eyes of a Non-Singer". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  27. ^ Kaufman, Amy (July 14, 2017). "In this digital self-help age, just how effective are MasterClass's A-list celebrity workshops?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  28. ^ Osburn, Christopher (May 29, 2017). "Can Gordon Ramsay's MasterClass Make You A Master Chef? We Tried It". AskMen. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  29. ^ Golembewski, Vanessa (August 10, 2015). "I Took An Acting Class With Dustin Hoffman — & This Is What Happened". Refinery29. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  30. ^ Maynard, Joyce (August 4, 2015). "An Accomplished Writer Takes a 'MasterClass' From a Gargantuan Selling Writer". Observer. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  31. ^ Zoladz, Lindsay (December 29, 2015). "What I Learned From Usher's Online Class on 'the Art of Performance'". Vulture. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  32. ^ Plaugic, Lizzie (May 15, 2017). "Who is MasterClass for? Talking to the people who take online classes with big-name celebs". The Verge. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  33. ^ "The 2019 James Beard Media Award Winners". James Beard Foundation. April 26, 2019. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  34. ^ Canavan, Hillary Dixler. "Here Is the Full List of 2019 James Beard Foundation Media Award Winners". Eater. Vox Media. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  35. ^ Kastrenakes, Jacob (May 20, 2020). "Here are all the winners of the 2020 Webby Awards". The Verge. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  36. ^ Antonio Ferme (May 18, 2021). "Variety Wins Webby Award for Best Entertainment Website". Variety. Retrieved July 12, 2021.
  37. ^ Hubbard, Lauren (October 16, 2020). "The Best MasterClass Classes to Pick Up a New Skill". Town & Country. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
  38. ^ Cheslaw, Louis (October 8, 2020). "The Best MasterClass Classes, According to People Who've Taken Them". New York. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
  39. ^ "James Cameron Teaches Filmmaking". MasterClass. Retrieved July 4, 2021.
  40. ^ a b c d e f g Toumazou, Aaron (November 15, 2020). "19 best Masterclass courses to learn new skills from the pros". GQ. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
  41. ^ a b c d e f Hartzog, Oscar (December 1, 2020). "Best Tip for Making Your Own Movies? Start with These Filmmaking Masterclasses". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
  42. ^ Chan, Tim (November 27, 2020). "The Best Giftable MasterClass Courses Taught by Top Film Industry Icons". Variety. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
  43. ^ "'Free Solo' Director Jimmy Chin Launches Adventure Photography MasterClass". Condé Nast Traveler. Retrieved July 16, 2021.

External links

  • Official website Edit this at Wikidata