While investors may be putting less money into ed tech this year, we note increasing globalization and wider range of focus in the industry.
To visualize the breadth and depth of the ed tech landscape, we used CB Insights data and analytics to create a periodic table of ed tech startups and investors. The table below covers startups targeting a variety of ed tech categories, as well as top exits and top investors in the space. Scroll down to read our rationale and view the graphic.
Navigating the periodic table of ed tech
The upper section of the table displays private and active ed tech startups. The bottom two rows display some of the largest ed tech exits and most prominent ed tech investors.
We divided ed tech startups into the following categories:
Childhood Edutainment – Educational games and toys for small children, including interactive books from Speakaboos, digitally-enhanced toys from NeoBear, and educational mobile apps from Kidaptive and LocoMotive Labs.
Next-Gen Schools – Startups like AltSchool (K-8) and The Minerva Project (secondary education) offer replacements for the traditional school/university experience. Altschool is among ed tech’s most well-funded private startups, with over $135M in disclosed funding.
Learning Management – The classroom experience is a major focus for ed tech startups. Companies like HotChalk, Remind, Schoology, and Edmodo offer software platforms to improve student-teacher-parent communication and help teachers track and analyze student performance. Leading the segment in funding, HotChalk has raised roughly $250M.
Administration Tools - Startups helping school systems ease administrative tasks, from transferring e-transcripts (such as Parchment) to digital exam grading (such as Digiexam or Gradescope) to managing ed tech deployment across school districts (such as Clever).
Multi-Subject/Adaptive Learning – Khan Academy, Coursera, and other digital platforms host online classes on a wide variety of subjects. Some like Knewton include adaptive learning features, automatically serving up content to the user based on past performance.
Creative Development – In a relatively small category, startups like Craftsy host online learning platforms focused on arts and music.
Language Learning – Digital English learning — a roughly $2 billion market worldwide — is a big business for global ed tech, with participants like TutorGroup, Alo7, and Open English. In fact, the Shanghai-based TutorGroup is among ed tech’s most well-funded private startups, with $315M in disclosed funding. Other startups like Duolingo provide interactive content for learning numerous languages.
Tech Learning - Many online learning platforms, like Codecademy and CodeCombat, focus on coding and related disciplines. Programming lends itself well to self-teaching, and these startups often emphasize career advancement. Pluralsight and Udacity lead the category as two of ed tech’s top ten most well-funded startups, with $208M and $161M in disclosed funding, respectively.
Study Tools – With student testing representing a nearly $2 billion market in the US alone, the test-prep segment has attracted ed tech startups like Byju’s, College Board, and Xiaozhan Jiaoyu. Other startups bring traditional study tools into the digital age, like Picmonic, which offers a platform for audiovisual flashcard creation.
Online-to-Offline – Particularly notable in China, these startups offer online platforms to match students with real-life tutors (Vipkid, Varsity Tutors, Gaosi Education), or to help them choose schools and programs (Schoold, Juesheng).
Click image to enlarge.
If you think an investor or company should be added, please leave a comment below with your rationale. Prior CB Insights periodic tables are listed below:
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