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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

MasterClass, which sells subscriptions to online courses taught by experts, is raising new funding led by Fidelity at a $2.5 billion valuation, Axios has learned.

The big picture: Online content boomed during the pandemic as people were stuck at home.

  • On the other hand, the pandemic presented production challenges to companies like MasterClass, particularly in terms of filming new content.

Details: San Francisco-based MasterClass last raised money in mid-2020 in another Fidelity-led round, at a reported $800 million valuation.

  • Its instructive courses have featured Spike Lee, Christina Aguilera, Serena Williams, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Gordon Ramsey.
  • The company didn't respond to Axios' request for comment.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Apr 7, 2021 - Technology

VCs plow money into creator economy companies

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Venture capitalists are plowing money into startups that help content creators to directly monetize their work.

Driving the news: Patreon, a platform that connects creators with fans, today will announce $155 million in fresh funding at a $4 billion valuation.

2 hours ago - World

U.S: Nord Stream 2 "will not move forward" if Russia invades Ukraine

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price during a press briefing at the State Department in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. will make sure the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project between Russia and Germany won't go ahead if Russian troops invade Ukraine, State Department spokesperson Ned Price told NPR on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Germany's ambassador to the U.S. appeared to support Price's strong rhetoric on the strategically significant pipeline that would circumvent Ukrainian transit infrastructure and deliver Russian gas directly to Germany, eliminating one of the last deterrents Ukraine has against an invasion, per Axios' Zachary Basu.

Scoop: Stephanie Ruhle to replace Brian Williams on MSNBC

Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

MSNBC will soon announce plans to move morning anchor Stephanie Ruhle to the 11 pm ET hour that Brian Williams turned into an elite destination, two sources familiar with the move tell Axios.

Details: The 9 am ET hour, currently hosted by Ruhle, will become part of MSNBC's flagship morning show, "Morning Joe," which currently runs from 6 am to 9 am ET.

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