Tech startups tackling the education industry have captured the interest – and financial backing – of venture capital and corporate investors globally. But while Ed Tech funding hit a record high in Q1 2014 on the back of some notable late-stage deals, there is a significant amount happening at the early stage.
Of the 103 Ed Tech deals in Q1, 44% came at either the seed or Series A stage. Funding to early-stage Ed Tech companies in the three-month period hit nearly $103M, a six-quarter high. Early-stage activity to Ed Tech startups has grown significantly since just a couple years ago. Q1 2014 saw more early-stage deals and funding than all the quarters in 2010 combined.
As early-stage Ed Tech deals have climbed, so have deal sizes. Q1 2014 saw Ed Tech startups raising, on average, $5.7M vs. $5.3M in Q1 2013 and $3.3M in Q1 2012. Over the past four years in aggregate, average seed deal deals have come in at $691K while Series A deal sizes, on average, weigh in at just under $5M.
On a unique company basis, the most active Ed Tech VCs at the early-stage over the four-year period were also the most active in Ed Tech across all stages – 500 Startups, NewSchools Venture Fund, Learn Capital and Kapor Capital. Early-stage Ed Tech Financing Trend – Keyword Analysis
When we take all the descriptions of over 500 Ed Tech companies that have received an early-stage deal since 2010 from the CB Insights database, we can visually get an understanding of where Ed Tech companies are focused. The larger the word, the greater its frequency (number of appearances) in our early stage Ed Tech data. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most common phrases of how early-stage Ed Tech companies are ‘learning’, ‘students’ and ‘platform’.
More interesting from the word cloud analysis are the frequency of ‘marketplaces’ among the descriptions of funded Ed Tech companies. These include SoftTech VC-backed TakeLessons, 500 Startups-backed Floqq and Skillshare, backed by syndicate BFFs, Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital. Among the Ed Tech companies aimed at ‘classrooms’ or ‘K-12’ education are Sequoia-backed API company Clever, Kleiner Perkins-backed student-teacher messaging app Remind101 and Schoology, a social network aimed at K-12 schools backed by FirstMark Capital.
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