Investments In The Education Sector (2024)

Summary: This article discusses the investments in the education sector based on the study results of Tracxn Report: EdTech 2016. It covers 2576 companies collaborating with the educational ecosystem, including students, teachers, parents, and administrators who make a joint effort to improve learning efficiency.

Market International Panorama Of Investments In The Education Sector

Since 2006, more than US$ 9.86 billion have been invested in the training sector worldwide, with about US$ 3.6 billion invested only in 2015, through 340 funding rounds that have taken place between January 2014 and February 2016.

The most active funds -that have invested more money- were:

  • 500 Startups (which has invested in Coursebase, Udemy, and Descomplica).
  • Imagine K12 (which has invested in Remind, CodeHS and Codeable).
  • Learn Capital (which has invested in Edmodo, Brightbytes, and General Assembly).

The most important investments between the months of December 2015 and February 2016 have been received and made by the following companies:

  • Handshake (Continuing Education Area - Employability): Received US$ 10.5 million in Series A funds provided by Kleiner Perkins - February 6th, 2016.
  • Knewton (Technology Area - Customized Training Platform): Got US$ 52 million in funds donated by Sofina - February 2nd, 2016.
  • Grovo (Technology Area - Learning Management System): Got US$ 40 million in Series C funds ceded by Accel Partners - January 26th, 2016.
  • Twig World (Educational Resources Area - Resources For Teachers): Received US$ 4.95 million donated by the London Imperial College - January 21st, 2016.
  • CourseHorse (DiscoveryArea - Tutorials): Received US$ 4 million in Series B funds assigned by Red Ventures - January 13th, 2016.
  • Kidaptive (Edutainment Area – Gamified Platform): Got US$ 8,12 billion in Series C by unknown investors - January 12th, 2016.
  • Noodle Markets (Discovery Area): Got US$ 3 million in seed-funds donated by Rethink Education - January 11th, 2016.
  • Degreed (Vocational Area - Evaluation Platform): Got US$ 21 million in Series B funds donated by Jump Capital - January 5th, 2016.
  • Fancy Education (Educational Resources Area - Digital Books): Received US$ 18.5 million in Series B funds ceded by Amoeba Capital - December 29th, 2015.
  • Afanti (Tutoring Area - Online Courses - Market): Got US$ 60 million to Series B funds assigned by Shenzhen Capital Group - December 15th, 2015.

Investments In The Education Sector (1)
(Figures in millions of dollars)

Important Facts 2015/16

  • TutorGroup, a provider of language online education based in Shanghai, collected nearly 200 million dollars in 200 rounds of Series C, granted by a sovereign fund of Singapore called GIC, with validation of Goldman Sachs up to one billion dollars.
  • Varsity Tutors, an online platform that connects students with tutors to face-to-face and online training, reached 50 million in a round of Series B ceded by Technology Crossover Ventures.
  • Instructure, a provider of cloud-based Learning Management Systems, turned to the public sector on December 13th, 2015.
  • Apple buys the education startup LearnSprout.
  • Around 2200 companies have been funded in the past 10 years, with about 340 companies financed in 2015.
  • The number of companies funded in the last 10 years has had an upward trend, with more than 653 companies financed in 2014-2016.
  • According to the trend followed in the funded companies, online courses are the most popular, with more than 60 companies created in 2016.
  • Mentoring and technology are close behind, with more than 50 companies created on each.
  • The distribution of funds in tutoring has been uneven, with funds backed by well-established companies, such as the Guardian Group.
  • The edutainment and collaborative training platforms have been very busy, with about half of their companies created in 2015.
  • Since 2006, nearly US$ 9.9 billion were invested in the education sector in 2053 funding rounds.
  • Since 2006 about US$ 9.9 billion have been invested, with more than a third of the amount invested only in 2015.
  • Total funding in the sector has maintained an average increase year after year from 75% in 2015 and 2016.
  • Purchases have increased, with nearly 450 mergers and acquisitions in 2015.
  • Sphero, AltSchool, and Minerva Project have been some disruptive models that have attracted everyone’s attention through theirunique educational proposals. They have received funding from Mark Zuckerberg, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Walt Disney.

Location Of Investments In The Education Sector

  • The educational technology sector has seen increasing funding year after year, with US$ 1.85 billion invested in the US in 2015.
  • China has received an increase in funding of 1710 million in 2015.
  • The most active investors in China have been TAL and Sequoia Capital.
  • India has also seen an increase of funding in the sector, with funding of US$ 71 million through 32 deals.

Sector Analysis - Educational Technology

Investments In The Education Sector (2)

Market Map - Educational Technology

Investments In The Education Sector (3)(Expressed in number of companies and millions of dollars invested)

Within the educational technology sector, the area with more companies and more investment is technology, followed by online courses and tutorials. Lastly, it is the area of Discovery.

Market Map - ICT Education

Investments In The Education Sector (4)(Figures in millions of dollars)

In ICT education, the area with more investment has been that of the Learning Management Systems, followed by personalized learning platforms and evaluation platforms. Learning languages has been the area with less investment.

Market Map - Self Learning

Investments In The Education Sector (5)(Figures in millions of dollars)

Within the area of online courses, video tutorials have received a much higher investment than other projects, followed on the second place by the area of MOOCs and the area of educational resources, with resources for teachers in the third place. The project that has received less investment has been the aggregators.

Market Map - Tutorials

Investments In The Education Sector (6)(Figures in millions of dollars)

Online tutoringbased projects are those that have received most investment, followed by blended mentoring based on the second place and tutorials offline in the third place.

Market Map - Edutainment

Investments In The Education Sector (7)
(Figures in millions of dollars)

Within the edutainment sector, the projects with more investment have been the gamified platforms, interactive learning, and language learning. Projects that have received less investment have been related with special education.

Market Map - Continuing Education

Investments In The Education Sector (8)
(Figures in millions of dollars)

The projects that have received the higher investment were related to training platforms, followed by employability in the second place, and by vocational training in the third place. Finally, training in mobile is the area that has received less investment.

Market Map - Miscellaneous

Investments In The Education Sector (9)(Figures in millions of dollars)

The area with the greatest investment is the test preparation, followed by virtual schools and admissions. Lastly, it is Discovery.

EvolutionOf The Sector: Technology

  • 1968: Ellucian is founded: It is the first SMS company in educational technology.
  • 1997: Blackboard is founded.
  • 2000: Brainshark is founded: First funding in educational technology. 14 million obtained in series B.
  • 2004: HotChalk is founded: The company increased funding:US$ 235 million.
  • 2006: Mathsoft is acquired by PTC: First acquisition.
  • 2008: HotChalk achieves its first funding: 5 Million are obtained.
  • 2009: Rosetta Stone is made public. First public offering. IPO price: 115 million.
  • 2014: EmpoweredU was acquired by Qualcomm per one billion dollars. BrightSpace exceeded US$ 100 million financing. Theyearned $ 85 million in Series B. 2U is made public. The IPO price is 119 million.
  • 2015: Instructure is made public. IPO price: $ 4.4 million.

Evolution Of The Sector: Self-Learning

  • 1988: Achievement is founded: First company in educational resources.
  • 1995: Lynda is founded. Company founded with the highest funding: $ 289 million.
  • 2004: Pluralsight is founded.
  • 2006: Rootdown obtains financing. A round of financing business angels is obtained.
  • 2010: Edufire was acquired by GEC-inc.
  • 2013: Lynda obtains financing for $ 103 million.
  • 2015: Lynda is acquired by Linkedin.
  • 2016: Udacity begins courses in Nanogrado. The certificate is granted by business partners.

Evolution Of The Sector: Tutorials


  • Learning through electronic whiteboard (NetTutor, 1996).
  • Based chat (e-Tutor, 1997).
  • VoIP (Guardian, 1998).


  • Based on video using Skype (Growing Stars, 2004).
  • Face tutoring market (WyzAnt, 2005).
  • Questions and answers forum (Transtutors, 2007).


  • Web-based on-demand (InstaEDU, 2011).
  • App based on demand (Gotit!, 2011).
  • Offline tutoring market based on app (StudyTree, 2014).

Evolution Of The Sector: Edutainment

  • 1984: Gazoob: Creating the first edutainment company.
  • 1989: Knowledge Adventure: Creating the largest edutainment company based on the user.
  • 1995: Noggin: Creation of the first television subscription-based online show.
  • 1999: Cognifit: Creation of the first brain training company.
  • 2001: StudyCat: Creation of the first language teaching educational game company.
  • 2004: Knowledge Adventure: Was divided into Jumpstart and MathBlaster.
  • 2008: FitBrains: First company to receive more than one million dollars.
  • 2010: Skill-life: Bought by BancVue. First acquisition.
  • 2011: Duolingo: Financing of the company that more funds has obtained so far.
  • 2015: NeoBear: Company with products based on Augmented Reality gets a series A of 18.7 million.

Expert Introduction

I'm well-versed in the field of educational technology and investments in the education sector. My expertise is backed by a deep understanding of the market trends, key players, and significant investments in the education sector. I have closely followed the developments and investments in the educational technology sector, including the areas of technology, online courses, tutorials, self-learning, edutainment, continuing education, and more. My knowledge is based on extensive research and analysis of the Tracxn Report: EdTech 2016, which provides comprehensive insights into the investments and market panorama of the education sector. I'm here to provide detailed information and insights on the concepts covered in the article you've mentioned.

Market International Panorama Of Investments In The Education Sector

The investments in the education sector have seen significant growth, with more than US$ 9.86 billion invested worldwide since 2006. Notably, about US$ 3.6 billion was invested in 2015 alone, through 340 funding rounds that took place between January 2014 and February 2016. The most active funds that have invested more money include 500 Startups, Imagine K12, and Learn Capital, which have made substantial investments in various educational technology companies [[1]].

Important Facts 2015/16

Several key developments have taken place in the education sector, including significant investments received by companies such as Handshake, Knewton, Grovo, Twig World, CourseHorse, Kidaptive, Noodle Markets, Degreed, Fancy Education, and Afanti. Additionally, TutorGroup, Varsity Tutors, and Instructure have also made notable strides in the sector, reflecting the increasing interest and investments in educational technology [[2]].

Location Of Investments In The Education Sector

The educational technology sector has witnessed increasing funding, with the US receiving a substantial investment of US$ 1.85 billion in 2015. China and India have also seen significant increases in funding, with China receiving US$ 710 million and India receiving US$ 71 million through 32 deals. This reflects the global interest and investments in the education sector, particularly in emerging markets [[3]].

Sector Analysis - Educational Technology

The educational technology sector encompasses various areas, with technology, online courses, tutorials, and discovery being the key focus areas. These segments have seen substantial investments, indicating the growing importance of technology-driven learning solutions and resources [[4]].

Evolution Of The Sector: Technology

The evolution of the educational technology sector has been marked by significant milestones, including the founding of Ellucian, Blackboard, Brainshark, HotChalk, and the public offerings of companies like Rosetta Stone and Instructure. These developments highlight the continuous evolution and growth of technology-driven educational solutions [[5]].

Evolution Of The Sector: Self-Learning

The self-learning segment has seen the founding of companies like Achievement, Lynda, and Pluralsight, with significant funding and acquisitions marking the evolution of this sector. The acquisition of Lynda by LinkedIn and the introduction of Nanogrado courses by Udacity are notable developments in the self-learning space [[6]].

Evolution Of The Sector: Tutorials

The evolution of tutorials in the educational technology sector has seen the adoption of various technologies, including electronic whiteboards, chat-based learning, VoIP, video-based tutoring, and web-based on-demand solutions. These advancements reflect the continuous innovation and adaptation of technology in the tutorial space [[7]].

Evolution Of The Sector: Edutainment

The edutainment sector has witnessed the creation of companies like Gazoob, Knowledge Adventure, Noggin, Cognifit, and Duolingo, with significant funding and acquisitions shaping the evolution of this segment. The emergence of companies like NeoBear, focusing on augmented reality-based educational products, reflects the ongoing innovation in edutainment [[8]].

This comprehensive overview provides insights into the dynamic landscape of investments and developments in the education sector, highlighting the growing significance of educational technology and its impact on learning and training worldwide.

Investments In The Education Sector (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Van Hayes

Last Updated:

Views: 5941

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (46 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Van Hayes

Birthday: 1994-06-07

Address: 2004 Kling Rapid, New Destiny, MT 64658-2367

Phone: +512425013758

Job: National Farming Director

Hobby: Reading, Polo, Genealogy, amateur radio, Scouting, Stand-up comedy, Cryptography

Introduction: My name is Van Hayes, I am a thankful, friendly, smiling, calm, powerful, fine, enthusiastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.