Investment In Edtech Startups 2020: Record $4.9 Billion And Still Counting

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Whilst the entire world spent the better half of 2020 locked indoors and practising social distancing, online education startups skyrocketed globally! Let’s dig deeper into it.

According to a report from CB Insights which is a market intelligence platform, startups in the niche of online education aka ‘ed-tech’ raised a whopping $4.89 billion globally across 377 rounds within this year and surpassed 2019 with three months still to go.

In the previous year, the reported figures for Edtech funding stood at $4.8 billion across 604 rounds, thus indicating that 2020 saw an increased average deal size of approx. $129,600.

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Source: CBInsights

Nontheless, one must also notice that the number of rounds decreased drastically this year and has been reported to being the lowest in the past four years.

The top 3 Edtech startups which raised the most funding this year and accounted for nearly 40% of the $4.8 billion that was raised globally are – China’s Yuanfundao which raised $1 billion Series G in March 2020, Zuoyebang which is again from China and raised $750 million in June 2020 and India’s Zuckerberg-backed Byju’s which raised $122 million as of August 2020.

Apart from this, the report also highlights how eight out of the ten top-funded ed-tech players are Chinese which goes to show how big the size of the Edtech market is in China.

Online education’s boom during this COVID-19 stricken year was something that was a given. As schools, colleges and various universities shut down all over the world, education got a complete digital makeover and took the centre stage pretty quick.

One common trait that was observed among startups which outperformed others and raised more money was the keenness of leveraging tools such as A.I., augmented reality or virtual reality to enhance the quality of education being delivered online.

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For instance, SnapAsk which is a Hong Kong-based ed-tech platform has enabled students to simply snap a picture of their questions which the app then proceeds to use A.I. aka artificial intelligence to understand. After that, the student gets connected to a suitable tutor who is available for them 24/7 via chat. 

In India, Doubtnut is a startup that is doing something quite similar and is currently in talks which the Zuckerberg-backed Byju’s to get acquired.

There’s no doubt that the boom of ed-tech got accelerated by the pandemic. People embraced online learning during this time for several reasons.

While most students observed these platforms as an outlet to continue their regular studies, the working men and women found them great for upskilling while they wait for the ‘normal’ to resume. 

Startups in this space, recognising this is their moment to shine, did their very best to put out some very interesting and innovating solutions as well. 

To make the process and beat the offline-experience, many of them integrated features such as live quizzes, gamification, storytelling and much more into the process. 

Now it remains to be seen if the last 3 remaining months in 2020 can also witness some more deals being cracked and funding being received in the space of online learning and education. We will keep you updated on all future developments. Until then, stay tuned.

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