Ed tech funding continued to soar to new heights in 2015 as global ed tech companies took in more than $2.98B across 442 deals last year, according to CB Insights data.
While the continued rise of ed tech investments could be attributed to a number of factors, a few stand out including:
- A spike in $100M financing events: Seven different ed tech companies globally raised a financing round of $100M+, for a totaled of over $1B in aggregate funding across these mega-rounds. These companies included Udacity, Lynda (later acquired by LinkedIn), and 17zuoye among others.
- China’s ed tech boom: Funding to China-based ed tech companies topped $1B in 2015. Funding to Chinese companies made up 37% of 2015’s global ed tech funding total, compared to 17% in 2014.
- Investor interest in professional job- and skills-oriented learning: As The New York Times highlights, 2015’s funding total was buoyed by large follow-on investments to startups that focus on — or have pivoted to — skills or career advancement both for individuals and within corporations, including Udemy and Udacity.
On a year-over-year basis, global ed tech funding jumped 58% in 2015, while deal activity rose 13%, as the chart below highlights.
Ed tech mega-rounds boom
$100M rounds in the ed tech sector rose from two in 2013 to three in 2014 to seven in 2015. Of note, China-based companies took four of the seven $100M rounds last year.
China’s ed tech spike
The rise of Chinese ed tech mega-rounds helped boost overall China ed tech funding past $1B. As the chart below shows, China-based ed tech funding rose 230% on a year-over-year basis in 2015.
The largest ed tech rounds of 2015
Below is a round-up of 2015’s $100M+ financing rounds in ed tech. Other notable rounds in the ed tech space in 2015 included a $75M equity financing to personalized learning community and network Altschool, a $65M round to online learning marketplace Udemy, and a $60M round to student learning data and analytics company Civitas Learning.
|HotChalk||$230||Online degree programs for universities||Bertelsmann|
|TutorGroup||$200||China-based online tutoring and language instruction||GIC Special Investments, Goldman Sachs, Russia-China Investment Fund, Silverlink Capital|
|Lynda||$186||Online profressional skills courses||TPG Growth, Accel Partners, Meritech Capital Partners, Spectrum Equity|
|Hujiang||$157||China-based study material and live video instruction platform||China Minsheng Investment, WanXin Media|
|Udacity||$105||Software and analytics online courses||Bertelsmann, Baillie Gifford & Co., Emerson Collective, Google Ventures|
|Changingedu||$100||China-based student-tutor network app||TAL Education Group, Sequoia Capital China, IDG Capital Partners, Trustbridge Partners|
|17zuoye||$100||China-based online learning platform||DST Global, H Capital, Shunwei Capital Partners, Temasek Holdings|
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