From the [detailed March *Inside Higher Ed* story on Coursera's planned IPO](

> Although it is still possible to audit many Coursera courses for free, the company has evolved significantly since its early days as a provider of massive open online courses, or MOOCS. The platform’s combination of paid nondegree certificates, stackable degrees and professional credentials has forged a company with an estimated value of between $2.4 billion and $5 billion.

> "Wall Street is desperately seeking high-growth, consumer-based businesses like what Coursera has become," [Daniel] Pianko said. "Massive eyeballs with a repeatable, freemium model drives the types of lofty valuations that the Coursera IPO achieves."

The IPO has since [come and gone](, with the Coursera market value hovering just above the larger number. The [*Inside Higher Ed* piece]( helps explain why the many-pivoted, money-losing firm has won investor faith:

> Coursera reported that its average acquisition cost per student for online degree programs was under $2,000 for the two years ending in December. That figure is impressively low, said [Sean] Gallagher, [a Northwestern higher ed prof].

> "Based on the financial details in the [IPO] filing, it looks like there are some real efficiencies in their ability to acquire customers,” he said.

Expect more desparate Wall Street seeking to come.