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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.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Texas governor: "All hostages are out alive and safe"

SWAT team members deploy near the Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue in Colleyville, Texas. Photo: Andy Jacobsohn/AFP via Getty Images

All four hostages have been safely released after a day-long standoff at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said on Saturday night.

The latest: "Around 9 p.m., the HRT — hostage rescue team — breached the synagogue, they rescued the three [remaining] hostages, the suspect is deceased," said police chief Michael Miller of Colleyville, located roughly 15 miles northeast of Fort Worth. The other hostage had been released earlier Saturday.

The new normal: Google searches reveal America's COVID shopping habits

Data: The New Normal; Google Trends; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

As the pandemic enters its third year, some of America's COVID-era shopping habits — including strong demand for tequila and sweatpants — are here to stay.

Driving the news: Axios worked with Google Trends and the Schema Design firm to create The New Normal, which analyzes the products Americans have Googled since 2020. Items with a lasting increase in search interest help fill in the details of what our "new normal" looks like.

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