2U branches out in higher ed as more OPMs eye diversification
With big revenue goals, the company is strategically adding offerings to expand work with existing customers and attract new ones. It’s not alone.
By: Hallie Busta
Published April 23, 2019
2U is on the move. Founded in 2008 with one program at a single university, the online program manager (OPM) has since expanded on its own and through acquisition. Prior to announcing plans to buy boot camp and skills training provider Trilogy earlier this month, it ran 49 graduate programs and 90 short-form courses across 35 universities.
The $750 million deal added 32 university partners and a new kind of offering to its portfolio, bringing more detail and nuance to its growth and diversification plans. And they are no small plans — 2U, which made its name providing OPM services to elite institutions, is gunning to reach $1 billion in revenue within three years, up from $411.8 million in 2018.
Other big OPMs may follow 2U’s example and differentiate.
“Everything is in play right now,” (Trace) Urdan (Managing director, Tyton Partners) said. “You’re going to see more of the smaller OPMs get gobbled up by some of the bigger ones, but I also think you’re going to see other kinds of companies get acquired. Boot camps are obvious.”