Japan’s online coding school startup Progate nabs $880K for Asian expansion

Students at a highschool learning how to code using the “Progate for School” service.
Image credit: Progate

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Progate, offering an online code learning service under the same name, announced on Monday that it has secured 100 million yen (about $880,000) in funding from FreakOut Holdings (TSE:6094), DeNA (TSE:2432), and individual investors. Details concerning the payment date and shareholding ratios were not disclosed.

In addition to this, the company announced that their number of users has reached 120,000, that it is being used as teaching materials in around 10 high schools in Japan, and they revealed the expansion of their services with “Progate for School” and “Progate for Business.”

Progate, which was launched in the summer of 2014 by three students attending the University of Tokyo at that time, has been able satisfy users up to now. However, their competitor Codecademy has secured tens of millions of users on a global scale. Following up on this, Progate’s CEO Masanori Kato revealed plans to release an international version of their service within 2017, with the particular desire to become an influential presence in the Asian region.

Progate co-founder/CEO Masanori Kato
Image credit: Takeshi Hirano

He said:

Although we don’t have clear results yet (regarding tests of the overseas version), considering Progate’s current demographic of 25-34 year olds, which is a large demographic in Southeast Asia, we think this target is consistent. There are many people who are fascinated by learning programming and it could have an even bigger effect on their lives than Japanese users, and we’d like to appeal to this target while taking advantage of the position of FreakOut, who participated in funding this time around.

Kato also remarked on their goal to increase examples created by users in conjunction with their service by adding applied lesson content, thus gradually showing overseas users the value of their service.

Along with the freshness of a business centered on the creation of students, they are worth paying attention to as they challenge the field of programming education which supports future developers who will go on to shape the world. To what extent will they be able to contribute to the developing capabilities of their generation? I would like to report on it again after quantitative information becomes available.

The Progate team
Image credit: Progate

Translated by Amanda Imasaka
Edited by Masaru Ikeda