Global Edtech Investment Swells to a Record $2.3 Billion in 2014

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2014 International Investment Tops the $1.6 Billion Record Set in 2013 According to a New Ambient Insight Whitepaper

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"Investments in companies operating in China accounted for 24% of all investments made to learning technology companies across the planet in 2014."

In 2014, global investments made to learning technology companies reached a breathtaking $2.34 billion, up from the previous record of $1.64 billion set in 2013, according to a new whitepaper by Ambient Insight called, "The 2014 Global Learning Technology Investment Patterns."

This marks the sixth time in the last 16 years that investment totals exceeded the billion dollar threshold and the first time in the history of the learning technology industry that investment reached the $2 billion threshold.

"The most significant investment patterns in the learning technology industry in 2014 were the spike in investments made to companies operating in China, a dramatic increase in investments made to Self-paced eLearning companies, and a renewed investor interest in corporate-facing learning technology companies," comments Chief Research Officer, Sam S. Adkins. "Investments in companies operating in China accounted for 24% of all investments made to learning technology companies across the planet in 2014; this is all the more impressive considering that the number of deals made to companies operating in China comprised only 10% of the total 337 deals made in 2014."

There was a sharp spike in investments going to Self-paced eLearning companies, reaching $1.07 billion in 2014, up from $565.3 million in 2013. The investments made to eLearning companies in 2014 were the highest in the history of the learning technology industry and marks the first time eLearning investments have reached the billion dollar threshold.

The free 23-page whitepaper can be downloaded from:

http://www.ambientinsight.com/Resources/Documents/AmbientInsight_2014_Global_Learning_Technology_Investment_Patterns.pdf

"In 2013, funding to corporate-facing learning technology suppliers reached the highest amount since 2008. In 2014, there were 41 deals made with corporate-facing suppliers for a total of $278.6 million in funding," said Adkins. "As robust as the investments made to corporate-facing suppliers was in 2013 and 2014, the totals are nowhere near the historic highs set in 2000 and 2001."

One pattern that has remained stable over the last three years is the investor interest in consumer-facing learning technology companies. In 2012, investors sank $626 million into consumer-facing learning technology companies, more than double from the year before. In 2013, these companies garnered $736.8 million, which was 44% of all money invested into learning technology companies on the globe. In 2014, a staggering $903.9 million was invested in consumer-facing companies; this is 39% of the total international investments in learning technology in 2014.

"Funding amounts of $100 million (or more) are very rare in the learning technology industry. There have only been seven learning technology companies that have obtained $100 million (or more) in the last 16 years," adds Adkins. "Two companies garnered $100 million or more in funding in 2014. Shanghai-based TutorGroup obtained $100 million and US-based Pluralsight garnered a breathtaking $135 million in funding; at the time this was the highest single amount invested in a learning technology company since the industry began. This record was shattered in January 2015 when lynda.com garnered a stunning $186 million in funding."

The total number of deals made in 2014 was slightly lower than 2013. There were 337 deals made in 2014 compared to 357 in 2013. Yet, the number of deals made in 2013 and 2014 dwarfs the 183 deals made in 2012, a record up to that point. In 2014, the majority of companies (278) obtained less than $10 million in funding.

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Sam Adkins
Ambient Insight LLC
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