Why Asia is a Great Market for EdTech Companies & Accelerators


Why Asia is a Great Market for EdTech Companies & Accelerators

Asia is rapidly emerging as ‘The World's EdTech Industry.’

Every edtech company is looking to Asia from its start, especially China and Singapore.  Asia will be fueling the next leg of growth in EdTech.

Here’s why right now is the best time in history to be in EdTech in Asia:

Asia will be fueling the next leg of growth in EdTech. The education ecosystems are addressing specific market failures with their own solutions that offer deeper local context, user interface, and lower cost structures that can be met via e- learning.

Asia is the fastest growing e-learning market in the world with outright leadership in a number of significant areas including game based learning and web social based learning.  

Asia is a great fit for courses offered via Internet. In general, Asia is the fastest growing landmass and with China having the world’s largest population makes it the largest captive place for K-12 audiences; the amount of prospective students alone is staggering and that’s China alone. As a whole, “Asia is the market for educational technology”.  

According to the University World News, the growth in the Asian EdTech industry is above 30 percent. There is also government support across Asia; countries are working on incentives, such as high-speed networks, and a larger push for placing curricula online.

According to Fresco Capital, in 2013, only 10% of the total capital invested in EdTech went to companies operating in China.  In 2014, that number increased to 24%. Given the market size and opportunity set this number is expected to grow continuously.

Asian startups are leading the way in the edtech platforms being used.  KnowRe, Brainly, mana.boTaamkru and many more Asia based edtech startups that have been making a mark in industry and are gaining attraction around the globe. There are a lot more startups from Asia that are helping the education sector do wonders like PaGamO, Delta Viet, kungfu Math, Zenius and ClasDos.

Vast market place is the reason behind top venture capital firms investing in Asian EdTech sector. Top VC firms are showing interest in EdTech sector and that signifies the potential it holds.

Fidelity, SAIF and Helion invested USD 10 million in an online test preparation platform Toppr, while Accel and Tiger Global invested USD 5 million in online tutoring platform Vedantu.

Embibe has raised USD4 million from Kalaari Capital and Lightbox Ventures.  Indeed the largest funding round for a language learning start-up was the Chinese investor-led $100 million round for the China-based, Tutor Group.

Various acceleration programs have been set to fasten the growth of this industry. One such example is of  Japans Education and Human Resource Companies that have launched an EdTech acceleration program under which Villing Venture Partners, (The Investment Arm of Japanese Educational Business Company) Villing Holdings and HR Company Slogan has collaborated as Slogan Villing Ventures for their project The Bridge.

Villing Holding CEO, Shuhei Morofuji explained the idea behind this collaboration:

“We are developing several approaches to make Japanese educational system much better, including launching our own kindergartens or schools and developing educational products. Through this development process, we learned many players want to disrupt this industry using information technology. We want to support them to have greater impact on the market.” 

Other significant accelerators in EdTech sector that are pushing the Asian EdTech market are Scholas, Learn Launch, Imagine K-12, Mind CET, Boom Startup and the list goes on.

Scholas labs and imagine k-12 are leading the way with their outstanding performances.   Scholas labs is a non profit organization with the purpose of selecting and supporting technological projects that help in improving the quality of education. Help yourself to know more about scholas labs from their website.  

Imagine k-12: The Biggest startup accelerator is focused on education technology. The incubator was started in 2011 and ever since has helped numerous EdTech startups to mark a place in the market. It is focused on serving the k-12 education. Have a look at the list of startups by imagine k-12.

BYJU Classes from India becoming the new way to tech and learn have raised a substantial amount of USD 75000000 in March 2016. Tracking the investments being made in edtech sector also shows the inclination of investors and the market altogether reflects Asia to be the next big thing for all those dealing in the industry of education technology.   

This post by Allison Baum, Managing Partner of FRESCO Capital has great insights on why Asia is leading the edtech in today’s time. The post highlights key reasons to be the vast market size, large amount of capital being invested and the exit opportunities.

At the Edtech Asia Summit 2016 held in Bangkok, thought leaders in edtech shared some deep insights into the explosive growth of edtech in Asia. From the keynote address delivered at the Summit, Pham made this prediction, “Within 10 years, 50 per cent of students will receive their education via online”. He further added, “According to WCET Distance Education Enrollment Report of 2016, 28 per cent of college students in the US are taking at least one online course, and 61 per cent of students in the 4,800 US universities and colleges are enrolled in full distance degree programs. These predictions and figures in itself reflects how fast edtech is penetrating and it is here to stay for a long long time.

The 2016 NMC Technology Outlook for International Schools in Asia reflects a collaborative research effort between the New Media Consortium (NMC); NIST International School; 21st Century Learning International, Canadian International School of Hong Kong; Chinese International School; Eduro Learning; International Schools Services (ISS); Renaissance College, Hong Kong; Shekou International School; and United World College of South East Asia to inform school leaders and decision-makers about important developments in technologies supporting teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in schools across the region. The report identifies nine key trends, nine significant challenges, and twelve important developments in educational technology across three adoption horizons spanning the next one to five years. Check out the complete report to see the impact of technology in education within Asia.

Also, in the report, EdTechXGlobal and IBIS Capital project that after-school tutoring in China will grow from $50bn currently to over $90bn by 2020. The competition isn’t just amongst students it is also for institutions to get the best tutors. Newspapers reported in October 2015 that a superstar tutor was offered $11m in Hong Kong to jump ship to a rival institution. An offer which he turned down!

The scenario is clear and we can witness that as investment into the sector climbs and adoption rates respond to the inherent student demand; this is the market to watch. You may read the complete story here

To know more about why Asia should be the place you look for your EdTech startup, this piece by e27.co “Asia becomes Primary Market for EdTech accelerators” is a highly recommended read.

Next Read:

EdTech Investments in Asia in First Two Quarters of 2016

[EdTech in Asia] EdTech Startups and Companies from China You Should Know About

About the Author
Author: Priyanka Gupta
Priyanka is a blogger by profession and has an increasing interest to write about the edtech space. While writing she keeps in mind the educators to come up with right resources and ideas which might be relevant for them in relation to effective use of technology in their profession and institutions/classrooms.
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