Investors Study EdTech Investments as Remote Learning Accelerates
With everyone confined to their homes, education has moved online. Schools, universities and workshops across the world are now streamed directly into the living room, while the demand for online courses has surged. More than 50% of lower and upper secondary students across the world are now taking classes online, according to the UNESCO-UNICEF-World Bank joint database.
This shift has encouraged investors to bet on the startups creating tools and platforms that facilitate online classrooms. The volume of venture capital deals in the Education Technology (EdTech) space has already surpassed the number completed in 2019 and is expected to set a new record by the end of the year, according to CBInsight.
Since the pandemic is global, this impact on education is equally universal. Investors in other countries have also accelerated their efforts to support the digital learning ecosystem. India’s online education startup Byju’s raised $500 million from a group of investors, including private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, Tiger Global, General Atlantic and Owl Ventures. The firm is now the second largest tech startup in India, behind Paytm.
This month, Singapore-based education technology (edtech) accelerator EduSpaze signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Kaplan, a global education provider, to invest in up to 20 Singaporean edtech startups throughout the rest of 2020. The initiative will provide onboarding, logistical and operational support to help these nascent startups scale.
Capital has also flooded into the public market, despite a lack of publicly-listed EdTech companies. Online education giant Rosetta Stone Inc. has seen its valuation surge 60% year-to-date. Investors are now eyeing upcoming IPOs and SPACs (such as EdtechX Holdings) that target this growing segment of the digital economy.