Khan Academy Success Story | How This Educational Platform Is Providing World-Class Education?

Shalini Rath Shalini Rath
Sep 2, 2022 10 min read
Khan Academy Success Story | How This Educational Platform Is Providing World-Class Education?

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by Khan Academy.

As Albert Einstein says, "Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think." We all know education is very important as it is the foundation for human evolution.

Through education, we get to learn about things we didn't know existed. Over the years, the art of grasping knowledge has changed so much. Some thousand years ago, the system of education was way different than we have right now. In India, the place where education was provided was called a Gurukul. However, after colonisation, everything changed. Today, we can gain knowledge at the tip of our fingers through digital mediums. Having said that, in the new age, online education is becoming more and more acceptable with multiple organisations and schools adopting this style of teaching.

Khan Academy, founded by Sal Khan, is an online educational platform that was started in 2008 and produces short video lessons to help students with a wide variety of academic subjects.

Let's dig into the profile of Khan Academy to know about its startup story, founder, business strategy, revenue, growth, challenges faced, and much more.

Khan Academy - Company Highlights

Startup Name Khan Academy
Headquarters California, United States
Sector Online Education
Founder Salman Amin Khan
Type 501(c)(3) nonprofit
Founded 2008
Revenue $79.3 Million (2020)
Website khanacademy.org

Khan Academy - About and How Does It Work?
Khan Academy - Industry
Khan Academy - Founder
Khan Academy - Startup Story
Khan Academy - Name, Logo, and Tagline
Khan Academy - Mission and Vision
Khan Academy - Business Model
Khan Academy - Revenue Model
Khan Academy - Challenges faced/Controversies
Khan Academy - Funding and Investors
Khan Academy - Mergers and Acquisitions
Khan Academy - Advertisements and Campaigns
Khan Academy - Collaborations
Khan Academy - Awards and Achievements
Khan Academy - Competitors
Khan Academy - Future Plans

Khan Academy - About and How Does It Work?

Founded in 2008 by American educator, Salman Amin Khan or Sal Khan, Khan Academy is an American non-profit educational organization. The main objective of the academy is to provide a set of online tools to assist students in their education.

Khan Academy works by creating short videos with teachings. In addition, it has a website, which has extra practice tasks and tools for educators. It has created over 8,000 video courses that educate a wide range of academic disciplines, with an initial concentration on mathematics and science.

Their classes are accessible from both the website and application, where all study materials are free. The application can be downloaded from Google Play for Android devices and the App store for iOS.

The online platform of Khan Academy has a lot of recreational activities like practice problems, instructional videos, and a personalised learning dashboard, allowing students to study at their speed both inside and outside of the classroom. Subjects like math, physics, computers, history, art history, economics, and other subjects, as well as K-14 and test preparation for SAT, Praxis, and LSAT are all offered by the firm.

Besides offering just academic subjects, the academy also emphasises skill mastery in students to help them have solid foundations, so there is no limitation to what they may study in the upcoming videos.

Providing a free personalised learning experience is what Khan Academy strives to give its students, which is then hosted on YouTube. The website is designed to offer a complement to its video with various other features like assignments, lesson exercises, and other tools. The same thing can be accessed on its mobile application.

Khan Academy - Industry

Khan Academy belongs to the industry of online education. It aims to provide free and world-class education to anyone from anywhere. Since the pandemic, the idea of e-learning has greatly transformed the way in which the world perceives the processes of learning and teaching. The market size of online education is expected to reach 585.48 billion USD by 2027 from 269.87 billion USD in 2021. The industry is expected to grow with a CAGR of nearly 13%.


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Khan Academy - Founder

Salman Amin Khan, more commonly known as Sal Khan is the man behind the establishment of the Khan Academy in 2008.

Salman Amin Khan

Sal Khan - Founder and CEO of Khan Academy
Sal Khan - Founder and CEO of Khan Academy

Sal Khan was born on October 11, 1976, to a Bengali Muslim household in Metairie, Louisiana. His father is from Bangladesh and his mother is from West Bengal, India. In his high school days, he was the school newspaper's cartoonist. Sal Khan enrolled in upper-level mathematics classes at the University of New Orleans and graduated as valedictorian in 1994.

In 1998, he graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with three degrees- A bachelor's in electrical engineering and computer science, a bachelor's in mathematics and a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering and computer science. He also graduated from Harvard Business School with a Master of Business Administration degree.

Sal Khan has produced more than 6,500 video lessons covering a vast array of academic subjects with a major focus on Maths and Science. Along with Khan Academy, he also founded Khan Lab School, a physical private school in Mountain View, California, USA. In 2020, he also founded Β Schoolhouse.world, a free non-profit effort to deliver tutoring to kids all around the world through Zoom.

The President of India bestowed Sal Khan with the fourth-highest civilian award in the Republic of India, the Padma Shri, in 2016. Sal Khan was named one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People in April 2012.

He was also one of five Heinz Award winners in 2013. His prize was given in the category of "Human Condition." He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Harvard University on May 27, 2021.

He has also published a book about Khan Academy titled The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined.

Umaima Marvi, a Pakistani physician, is Sal Khan's wife. The couple lives in California, the USA with their three children. Founders of other online educational platforms like Coursera, and edX have named Sal Khan as their inspiration for starting their companies.

Khan Academy - Startup Story

The start goes back to 2004 when Sal Khan began instructing one of his relatives in mathematics over the Internet through a programme called Yahoo Doodle Images. Eventually, this led his other relatives and friends to ask for his service. That's how the idea came to Sal. He decided to make his videos available on the internet with the help of YouTube. Later, Sal used a drawing programme called SmoothDraw, and currently, he draws with ArtRage on a Wacom tablet.

A lot of positive feedback ultimately urged Sal to establish Khan Academy in 2008 and resign from his job in 2009 to devote his entire time to providing instructional lessons.

Khan Academy - Name, Logo, and Tagline

Khan Academy Logo
Khan Academy Logo

Sal Khan has named the organisation after his surname 'Khan'.

The logo of Khan Academy was changed last in 2018. Their new logo depicts the hexagon symbol. It signifies the fundamental building block in math, nature, and art. The bright colours in the symbol are a reflection of them making a transformational influence on education.

Khan Academy - Mission and Vision

Khan Academy's mission statement is, "Our mission is to provide a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere."


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Khan Academy - Business Model

The business model of Khan Academy operates as a non-profit organisation. It earns money through contributions, tuition fees from its Khan Lab School, and payment for its SAT preparation classes.

Khan Academy's videos are available in almost 190 countries, and more than 50 million students have accessed its videos. This is because Khan Academy's videos are available in 28 different languages, including Bangla, Chinese, Bulgarian, German, Spanish, Georgian, Norwegian, French, Polish, Portuguese, Serbian, Turkish, Uzbek, and more, making their videos reach almost every student across the globe. The courses offered by the firm are - Maths, Science, Maths foundations, Computing, Arts, Economics, Hindi (the newest addition), and Test preparation for SAT, LSAT, and MCAT. Khan Academy also has a Kids App for 2-7-year-olds. Along with this, it has courses for educators to give them insights into how the academy works and other programmes and how to implement the courses with students.

As mentioned before, Khan Academy is a nonprofit organisation that earns its income through various donations from philanthropic organizations. Organisations & Individuals like - Google, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Netflix's CEO Reed Hastings, NewSchools Venture Fund, Oracle, Walt Disney Foundation, and Hyatt Hotels Corporation are some of the donors who have donated to Khan Academy.

Furthermore, it is reported that Khan Academy also generates a lot of revenue from YouTube. As per YouTube analysis, the firm earns an estimated sum of $18K - $290K per year from its channel.

Khan Academy - Revenue Model

Khan Academy Revenue from 2015 to 2020
Khan Academy Revenue from 2015 to 2020

The latest reports on Khan Academy's revenue growth are tough to tell. To be precise, its two major sources of revenue can be categorised as Contributions and Grants and Program Service Revenue. The firm had made a revenue of $79.3 million as of 2020. As per the company's financial report, the major sources of this revenue were the foundation and individual gifts, corporate gifts, community giving, earned income, and other income. It also received a sum of $316 million in donations during the pandemic, which boosted the firm's growth.

Khan Academy - Challenges faced/Controversies

Khan Academy has been through some criticism off-late. Founder, Sal Khan has been chastised for lacking professional pedagogical experience or certifications. There are statements from several people who say that the technical correctness of several mathematics and physics videos has been called into doubt. As a result of these concerns, Sal Khan has announced fixing faults in its videos by expanding its faculty and establishing a network of over 200 content specialists.

Khan Academy - Funding and Investors

Khan Academy has received $16.2 million in investment across five rounds. Their most recent funding came on July 21, 2020. Khan Academy is supported by two investors. The most recent investor is Amgen Foundation.

The funding details are:

Date Transaction Name Amount Lead Investors
July 21, 2020 Grant $3 million Amgen Foundation
October 12, 2017 Grant $3 million Amgen Foundation
August 25, 2016 Grant $3 million Omidyar Network
May 20, 2013 Grant $2.2 million -
November 4, 2011 Grant $5 million -

Khan Academy - Mergers and Acquisitions

On August 26, 2016, Khan Academy acquired Duck Duck Moose, a multi-award-winning designer of instructional mobile apps for children.


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Khan Academy - Advertisements and Campaigns

In 2014, Khan Academy launched its first-ever campaign titled - 'You Can Learn Anything.' The video was launched in collaboration with the agency, Enso. The video encourages the possibilities of education and learning with Khan Academy. It was reported that the video was a big hit and it was mentioned over 500 times on Twitter within the first day alone.

Khan Academy - You Can Learn Anything Advertisement Campaign

Another campaign was launched by Khan Academy that featured celebrity singer-songwriter, John Legend, who shared his story of struggling days during his career.

Khan Academy - Success through Effort Campaign featuring John Legend

Khan Academy - Collaborations

In July 2022, Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited collaborated with Khan Academy India (KAI) to create academic content for classes 9 to 12. The collaboration is a part of the bank's goal to strengthen its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities. As part of the agreement, Kotak Mahindra Bank will support Khan Academy India to generate material aligned with the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT). According to an official announcement, the academic materials for grades 9 to 12 would be freely available on Khan Academy India digital platforms.

Sal Khan, founder and CEO shared his viewpoint on the collaboration with Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. saying, "The CSR funding from Kotak Mahindra Bank will enable us to create science content for class 9 to 12 and offer personalised education to students helping them to build a solid conceptual understanding."

Khan Academy - Awards and Achievements

Let's take a look at the awards won by Khan Academy:

  • Khan Academy received a Webby Award in the category of Websites and Mobile Sites, Education in 2012.
  • Khan Academy received a Shorty Award for Best in Education in 2016.

Khan Academy - Competitors

With the rise in online education, many organisations offer education through online videos and other digital platforms. The top competitors of Khan Academy are:

  • Coursera
  • Udacity
  • edX
  • Unacademy
  • BYJU'S
  • upGrad
  • LinkedIn Learning
  • Canvas LMS
  • Skillshare
  • Codecademy
  • Pluralsight Skills

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Khan Academy - Future Plans

As of now, the future plan of Khan Academy is to keep on providing a free world-class education to everyone. It also aims to have an even stronger tech framework and build a more user-friendly platform for its mobile application so that students can even learn through smartphones.

FAQs

Who owns Khan Academy?

Salman Amin Khan, commonly known as Sal Khan is the founder and CEO of Khan Academy.

Is the Khan Academy accredited?

No, Khan Academy is not an accredited school. It can only be used as a supplement to normal schooling for clearing doubts and better learning and understanding of concepts.

Is Khan Academy completely free?

Khan Academy is completely free. Its mission is to provide free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere.

Who owns Duck Duck Moose?

Khan Academy owns Duck Duck Moose. The educational startup, Duck Duck Moose announced in August 2016 that it has β€œdonated” its intellectual property and become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Khan Academy.

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