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CreativeLive Closes $7.5 Million Series A Financing

by Craig Swanson
money & life

CreativeLive, the free, live online global classroom for creative entrepreneurs, today announced that it has closed a $7.5 million Series A financing round led by Greylock Partners. The company also announced that Mika Salmi, former President of Viacom Digital, has been appointed CEO.

CreativeLive is an interactive social classroom that hosts multi-day workshops led by the world’s best instructors. The company was co-founded in 2010 by photographer/director Chase Jarvis and entrepreneur Craig Swanson as a platform to empower individuals to learn real-life skills that enhance their careers, businesses, hobbies or well-being. Anyone in the world can watch the live-streamed classes for free and copies of the courses are available for purchase at any time. More than one million students from 200 countries have participated since the company’s inception, with the most popular classes attracting more than 150,000 students. Profitable since launch, creativeLIVE has already paid out millions of dollars to instructors.

CreativeLive’s instructors include New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling authors, Pulitzer Prize winners, Emmy nominated directors, and award-winning professionals in the disciplines of photography, business, productivity, software development, design, film, video and more.

“The future of education will emphasize interactive, lifelong skill learning opposed to bloated degrees and physical classrooms,” said Jarvis. “We can’t think of a better way to learn about productivity & business than from visionaries like Tim Ferriss or Ramit Sethi; photography from Pulitzer Prize winner Vincent Laforet; or filmmaking from Gale Tattersall, Director of Photography of the TV series House. creativeLIVE combines the best elements of learning with the best instructors while removing typical constraints like access, geography and cost. It’s also a tool that empowers people to learn real skills to enhance their career or hobby to help them move up in their field, or turn their true passion into a day job.”

Mika Salmi, CreativeLive’s new CEO, previously served as President of Global Digital Media at Viacom. Salmi led over 1,500 employees in 60 countries and helped Viacom quadruple its digital revenues. Prior to Viacom, he founded AtomFilms, which pioneered short-form digital content, later merging with game company Shockwave.com before selling the company to Viacom for $200 million in 2006. Salmi began his career in the music business with independent label TVT where he discovered and signed Nine Inch Nails.

“CreativeLive’s disruptive effect on the education industry lines up with my passion for being part of transformative movements and events,” said Salmi. “By providing free education to millions of people who wouldn’t otherwise have access to it, creativeLIVE has an incredibly positive social impact. The greatest reward I can think of is when we hear from students who tell us how much the workshops have changed their lives.”

With the investment, Greylock partner James Slavet will join creativeLIVE’s Board of Directors. In addition to his role as CEO, Salmi also becomes a member of the Board, joining Jarvis and COO Jon Cunningham.

For more information and to view class offerings, please visit www.creativeLIVE.com.

About creativeLIVE
creativeLIVE (www.creativeLIVE.com) is the world’s leading live, online classroom for creative entrepreneurs. Using a scalable freemium model, creativeLIVE is transforming the $100 billion continuing education market by offering frictionless access to the best teachers in the world via a social video platform. The company was founded in April 2010 by world-renowned photographer, director and artist Chase Jarvis and entrepreneur Craig Swanson and has been profitable since day one. The company is led by CEO Mika Salmi, backed by Greylock Partners and has locations in Seattle and San Francisco.

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Craig Swanson

Craig is the co-founder of CreativeLive.