Funding to education technology companies showed no signs of a slowdown in 2014. According to CB Insights data, Ed Tech companies ranging from K-12 APIs to MOOCs to student-teacher messaging apps raked in $1.87B across 350 deals – a new record for both deals & dollars in the space. This data first appeared in a New York Times article detailing Silicon Valley’s rising interest in disrupting education.
2015 is already off to a good start for ed tech as well with online video tutorial company Lynda.com‘s $186M financing deal from TPG Capital, which came at a reported valuation near $1B putting them into unicorn valuation territory. On a year-over-year basis, Ed Tech funding jumped 55% while YoY deals only climbed 5%. The 2014 funding total was 110% higher than 2012’s tally.
Peeling back the stage breakdown of companies receiving investment in 2014, we see early-stage deal activity in the Ed Tech sector remains quite strong. Over 3/4ths of deals came at the seed or Series A stages while mid-stage deals took just over 15% of Ed Tech deals.
Mid-stage deals get hefty
On the funding front, mid-stage deals at the Series B and Series C stages accounted for a collective 48% of Ed Tech dollars deployed in 2014. Big mid-stage Ed Tech rounds last year included IT training firm Pluralsight‘s $135M Series B, parent-teacher messaging app Remind‘s $40M Series C and integrated learning platform Desire2Learn‘s $85M Series B.
While 2U and Chegg‘s post-IPO performances have been mixed, the Ed Tech industry is seeing a rising number of highly valued private companies. Notably. both Lynda.com and Pluralsight are now valued near $1B. The chart below looks at a handful of private Ed Tech valuations over the past two years from the CB Insights database, highlighting the growing valuations in the space.
|Lynda.com||Online video tutorials and training||Accel Partners, Meritech Capital Partners, Spectrum Equity, TPG||~$1000M|
|Pluralsight||Online developer and IT training||Insight Venture Partners, Sorenson Capital, Iconiq Capital||~$1000M|
|NetDragon Education||Mobile educational products||IDG Capital Partners, Vertex Venture, Alpha Animation||$477.5M|
|Open English||Online English language learning||Flybridge Capital Partners, Kaszek Ventures, Insight Venture Partners, TCV||$350M|
|Declara||Personalised learning tools||Founders Fund, GSV Capital, Data Collective, EDBI, Linden Venture Capital||$100M|
Related: The Largest 2014 Ed Tech Rounds
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