Flushed with funds, edtech is poised to be one of the most promising industries in the current times.
The year 2016 was bonanza for the education sector, which has received investments of $323 million not a mention a win-win situation for entrepreneurs and needless to say students, teachers and parents too.
Stepping in 2017 number of deals in the edtech sector picked up in the first quarter with a total of 131 deals valued USD 545M. The way edtech is blooming the biggest 4 technology companies have already steeped in the industry. Apple, Microsoft, Google and Amazon are moving aggressively into the education market. With so much happening around, this post is focused on the investments that are being made in the industry and the various categories in the edtech industry, the trends and the growth of the industry.
To segregate the edtech industry, we get many categories that are coming out with new startups every day. However the dominating categories are Broad Online Learning Platforms, Learning-Management Systems, Language Learning, Tech Learning and Test Prep. The investments made in these 5 categories are huge. The following points will help you have a quick look in the dominating categories within the industry.
- Byju’s for test prep raised USD 75 Million/Series C and USD 50 Million/Series D in the year 2016. Toppr is another player in the same category with a mention of investment raised amounted US$3.2M recently in April 2017. Others are BenchPrep in the US, and Xiaozhan Jiaoyu in China.
- Udemy, a global online learning platform raised an amount of USD 60 Million in 2016. The big players redefining education with their learning platforms are khan Academy, Coursera and Udemy.
- LMS represents one of the largest categories within edtech, and includes startups like HotChalk, Remind, Nearpod and Moodle.
- Language Learning Platforms are also gaining a lot of attraction. With tools like DuoLingo that raised USD45M/Series D in June 2015. Other players from the category are TutorGroup for English learning that boasts of employing more than 2,000 teachers around the world to teach more than 5 million class sessions each year and China’s 51Talk.
- Online tools that teach programming and other IT skills, including Pluralsight, CodeMonkey and Codecademy is another category that is bringing a new wave of innovation and attraction in the industry.
The other categories in edtech that can be seen doing well are Early Childhood Education with a significant mention of Speakaboos, with $24M in disclosed funding, produces interactive, digital storybooks for children; Next-Gen Study Tools like kahoot; Online-to-Offline (platforms that connect students with live tutors). One such from Asia is Beijing-based Gaosi Education, with $63M in disclosed funding. For Web based tools for School Administration a must mention is Parchment, with $69M in disclosed funding. Next-Gen Schools is also a growing sector. These are Startups aiming to reinvent the school experience. Examples are AltSchool, with $136M in disclosed funding, is building a network of K-8 schools and The Minerva Project that have raised a total of USD 95M within 2012-2014 in their two rounds Series A/B. Other categories are Admission & Counselling,Curriculum Production, Search and Enterprise Learning.
Based on the mapping of the investments being made, it is clear that few of the edtech trends like the MOOCs, Web based platform, E-learning, Adaptive Learning, Skill Development Platforms are here to stay for a long time. Parallel to the edtech giant we can witness few newbies which are coming out aggressively like Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Gamification and 3D Printing. These are the sectors which are still in their growing stage but in the near future they may stand out victorious. The industry is still exploring these branches of the education technology which are already doing well.
With the growing importance of the technology in education sector, 3D printing technology is fueling limitless creativity among students. India 3D printer market revenue is projected to reach $46 million by the year 2019 where only 3.0% of the total estimate is for educational purpose. Major players active in India 3D printing market JGroup Robotics.
When talking of AR and VR, one thing that you can’t let pass by is the Google Expeditions Pioneer Program. The purpose of the program is for Expeditions teams from Google to visit schools around the world and provide everything teachers need to take their students on a journey anywhere; the team will also assist the teachers in setting up and utilizing this technology. Other key players in the sector are zSpace, Curiscope and Nearpod.
Gamification is one thing that will take a leap and come on the topmost use technology in the coming times for the likability it is getting from the consumers. It is estimated that by 2018, the global gamification market will reach USD 5.5B. Over 350 companies have launched their major gamification products including eBay, Adobe and Ford.
The coming growth in edtech is incredibly exciting, if only it keeps on providing the significant positive impact on the society. The updates in the edtech industry in the last few years has been so enriching that we can expect a sustainable growth in the coming years too.