Global Edtech Funding Spikes to $11.6 Billion in H1-2020

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According to New Metaari Market Research, Over $11.6 Billion was Invested to 516 Edtech Companies Across the Globe in the First Half of 2020

Whitepaper cover Metaari

Metaari's 2019 Edtech Investment Whitepaper Cover

"China could overtake the US again in terms of total investments for the first time since 2017," adds Adkins. "$3.90 billion was invested in 77 Chinese edtech companies in the first half of 2020. In the US, $3.67 billion went to 113 learning technology companies in the first half.

"The investment activity in the first half of 2020 could be an anomaly considering that huge unprecedented funding that went to just a few edtechs," comments Sam S. Adkins, Chief Researcher at Metaari (formerly Ambient Insight). "A breathtaking $1 billion went to China's Yuanfudao in March 2020. This is the first time in the industry's history that a company has reached the $1 billion threshold. In June 2020, an equally impressive $750 million went to China's Zuoyebang who claims to be the largest online education provider in the world with over 800 million users and 50 million daily active users (DAU)." Both of these companies are online tutoring firms.

In the first half of 2020, 26 companies garnered over $100 million in funding and 438 obtained over a million dollars in investment. In the full year of 2019, 44 companies obtained $100 million or more in investment and 679 obtained one million dollars or more.

"Investment patterns are inherently unpredictable," says Adkins. "The patterns produce a quantitative 'rear-view mirror' perspective, but they are not reliable leading indicators. Investments have spiked every year since 2015 reaching an unprecedented $18.6 billion in 2019. To put this in perspective, investments in 2018 and 2019 combined far outstripped the total investments made to all edtech companies combined for the entire twenty-year period between 1998 and 2017."

Metaari principals have been tracking the global learning technology investment patterns since 1998 when they were employed in the Advanced Knowledge Engineering Group at Microsoft. They launched the world's first global online learning business, the Microsoft Online Institute (MOLI).

Since at least 2016, investors have aggressively shifted their interest away from companies selling legacy products like eLearning to next-generation companies developing Cognitive Learning, AI-based Learning, Mixed Reality Learning (AR-based Learning and VR-based Learning), Mobile Learning, Location-based Learning (Location Intelligence), Game-based Learning, and even Educational Bots (both physical and virtual).

"In the first half of 2020, an impressive $2.96 billion went to 112 startups developing learning technology using artificial intelligence (AI)," reports Adkins. "Just over $1.14 billion went to 38 Mixed Reality (AR and VR) Learning companies in the first half. In sharp contrast, a mere $92.5 million went to just five eLearning companies in the first half of 2020. Clearly, investors are now attracted to advanced learning technologies instead of legacy learning products."

Metaari has published their annual edtech investment patterns whitepaper since 2004. The most recent is the "The 2019 Global Learning Technology Investment Patterns: Another Record Shattering Year" published in January 2020. The free whitepaper has 87 pages, 12 tables, and 13 charts.

To obtain the free whitepaper, email your request to: research@metaari.com

"China could overtake the US again in terms of total investments for the first time since 2017," adds Adkins. "$3.90 billion was invested in 77 Chinese edtech companies in the first half of 2020. In the US, $3.67 billion went to 113 learning technology companies in the first half. Just over $1.41 billion went to 96 companies in India in the first half with 21% ($290 million in two rounds) of that going to the Indian online education juggernaut BYJU'S. $2.62 billion went to 229 other edtech companies across the globe. Investment in edtech was strong in the UK in the first half. Over $635.8 million was invested in 81 UK learning tech companies in the first half."

Investment patterns can surface "customer-facing" trends if funding shifts to companies that serve specific buying segments. Only $213.3 million was invested in companies serving the higher education and tertiary segments in the first half of 2020, although $815.8 million went to companies serving the PreK-12 segments across the globe. This is relatively impressive considering that PreK-12 companies garnered a total of $855.3 million for the entire year of 2019.

Investors are now mainly focusing on corporate (B2B) and consumer (B2C) edtech companies. These companies combined garnered $10.5 billion in funding in the first half of 2020. The massive funding going to consumer-facing learning companies in the last few years is what Metaari calls "retail education", with startups bypassing the traditional academic delivery channels.

About Metaari
Metaari (formerly Ambient Insight) is an ethics-based quantitative market research firm that identifies revenue opportunities for advanced learning technology suppliers. We track the learning technology markets in 126 countries. We have the most complete view of the international learning technology market in the industry. Metaari focusses solely on advanced learning technology research on products that utilize psychometrics, neuroscience, location intelligence, game mechanics, robotics, cognitive computing, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and augmented reality.

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Sam Adkins
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