The new school year is upon us and, according to the data, a number of education apps are getting solid marks. Last month, John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers captured the excitement of smartphones entering the classroom, writing:
“In the coming weeks, 55 million U.S. students in grades K-12 will go back to school. In their backpacks they will carry pens, No. 2 pencils, 3-ring binders and calculators. But most students will also carry something that their parents’ generation could never have imagined: a smartphone.
And that changes everything. The mobile technologies that have revolutionized the American workplace are now transforming our education system.”
Using CB Insights mobile app and venture capital financing data, we wanted to analyze whether education apps in general were gaining share among the Top 1000 mobile apps, and which venture capital-backed education apps, in particular, were getting good grades.
The data below.
Ed Tech apps rising
The chart below shows the percent share of education apps in the top 1000 overall apps in the App Store by weekly average between May 25 and Aug 24. While education apps see smaller share than other categories (most significantly, games, which consistently takes over 30% share), education apps have seen share rise from 1.9% to 5.6% in the week starting Aug. 24 – the biggest jump of any category over the period.
Given the back to school time period, there is obviously a seasonal aspect to the growth but the jump of nearly 3x in terms of share is notable.
Which VC-backed ed tech apps are getting good grades?
Next, we tracked which venture-backed education apps saw some of the biggest movements in the overall top 1000 App Store ranks in August using our ‘Significant Rank Improvement’ mobile app alert algorithm. Below are five such apps that met the criteria.
Duolingo – Mobile language learning app backed by over $38M from investors including Union Square Ventures, NEA and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Edmodo – Mobile social platform for classroom discussion, posting assignments, grade tracking and file sharing. Backed by over $77M from investors including Union Square Ventures, Learn Capital, Benchmark, NEA, Index Ventures and Greylock Partners.
Classdojo – Mobile app helping teachers give students real-time feedback while in class. Backed by over $10M from investors including General Catalyst, NewSchools Venture Fund, Lerer-Hippeau Ventures, Shasta Ventures and SoftTech VC.
Schoology – Mobile classroom management app for discussion participation, assignment submission and collaboration. Backed by over $23M from investors including FirstMark Capital, Great Oaks VC, Meakem Becker Venture Capital and Intel Capital.
Remind – Mobile messaging app that lets students and parents stay in touch with teachers. Backed by over $19M from investors including The Social+Capital Partnership, First Round Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. We’d previously highlighted how Remind had become the top-performing ed tech startup in mobile.
Below is a chart of the top 1000 overall rankings for the five aforementioned VC-backed education apps between June and August 20th, highlighting the clear rank surge. Whether this momentum is sustainable is to-be-seen. We will continue to monitor the mobile app data for any noteworthy shifts in the ed tech market. If you’d like to to stay abreast of additional mobile app store analyses and fast moving publishers, sign up for our free newsletter.