Platzi pursues the next technological revolution with AI as a flagship

Platzi has doubled its growth since 2019. The ambition of its CEO, Freddy Vega, goes beyond growth: he wants to plant artificial intelligence in all large companies.
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The story of Platzi is not the typical story of friends embarking on an entrepreneurial journey together. Its founders Christian Van Der Henst and Freddy Vega were, in fact, competitors.

On one hand, Guatemalan Van Der Henst had created in 1997 Maestros del Web, an online community for web developers, and Colombian Vega built in 2004, Cristalab, its competitor.

“We were competitors for almost 10 years until after the global financial crisis our companies took a small hit and we began to collaborate more closely, trying to understand what really made us happy, which was teaching and scaling the impact of education, particularly tech education,” Vega recalls in an interview with Contxto.

In 2012, Platzi started under the name Initially, the entrepreneurs synergized and conducted in-person technology courses.

“The first one that worked for us we did in Mexico City, and from there we started doing courses in other places, ending up doing courses in 20 cities in 12 different countries, reaching 2,600 people,” adds Vega.

The edtech with Latin DNA, although based in San Francisco, has sought from the beginning to transform the region into a technological powerhouse and has focused its efforts on training people in technology topics.

“Anything that has to do with computers, programming, design, online marketing and business, mobile web applications, information security, servers—anything that relates to the tech industry and digital economy is a subject matter for Platzi’s courses,” Vega describes.

Vega boasts that Platzi is the largest tech school in the Spanish-speaking world, with 4 million students throughout Latin America, the United States, and Spain.

For the Colombian entrepreneur, humanity today faces a massive and historic disruption caused by the advancement of artificial intelligence. And joining this revolution is this edtech’s main task for 2023.

Artificial Intelligence in the global education industry generated USD $2,500 million in 2022 and is expected to reach USD $88,200 million by 2032, according to a report by Allied Market Research.

The updated global edtech market size, according to HolonIQ, shows an improvement of USD $63,000 million compared to pre-pandemic estimates for Covid-19. Global edtech spending is expected to reach USD $404,000 million in 2025, representing a CAGR of 16.3%, or a 2.5-fold growth, between 2019-2025.

The rise of edtech is reaching its highest point, but global investment remains higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Global investment in edtech in 2023

Platzi’s focus on artificial intelligence began this year, but since 2022 they have been working on artificial intelligence systems to implement in human talent management within companies.

“If all the employees of a company learned about artificial intelligence and the company had a conversation with its employees on how to creatively apply new AI ideas to the business model, we would probably be able to multiply the Gross Domestic Product of all of Latin America,” Vega considers.

In the last two years, Platzi’s B2C model has been combined with the B2B model, and they have begun to enter companies of all kinds to help them explore technology, especially that related to artificial intelligence.

“It’s a bit disheartening, at first, because when you talk to executives and entrepreneurs from large companies in the region, they tell you they don’t even know what artificial intelligence is. And we’re trying to change that,” says Vega.

“We offer courses that start from zero, for those who are just beginning their journey in technology, all the way to very specialized topics for those who already have experience,” adds Vega.

Vega shares that they currently partner with various companies to tailor educational programs that suit their needs. “We can customize our courses so that they directly address the skill gaps in your workforce,” he explains.

In the realm of artificial intelligence, Platzi has started rolling out courses that cover machine learning, natural language processing, and data science, among other topics. “We want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to participate in the AI revolution,” says Vega.

As for the future, Platzi plans to continue expanding its course offerings, adding more subjects and hiring more instructors. “We are fully committed to transforming education and preparing people for the jobs of the future,” concludes Vega.

With educational platforms like Platzi, the potential for upskilling and reskilling the workforce in Latin America and beyond is immense. Whether getting started in tech or diving deep into specialized subjects, Platzi offers a flexible and robust educational experience for all.

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