SEATTLE, July 6, 2018 /PRNewswire-iReach/
"An astonishing $8.24 billion in investment flowed to learning technology firms in the first half of 2018," reports Sam S. Adkins, Metaari's Chief Researcher. "I have been tracking learning technology investment activity for twenty-two years and I have never seen such an incredible burst of global activity. A total of 437 companies were funded in the first half of 2018 including 105 companies in China."
Metaari publishes their annual learning technology investment whitepaper in the first week of January every year. "The 2018 Global Learning Technology Investment Patterns" will be published in early 2018.
"Massive amounts of funding are going to companies in China," reports Adkins. "Over $4.86 billion of the investments made of far this year went to Chinese companies. In the last twenty-two years most of the annual investment went to US companies. China will certainly dominate the investment activity in 2018. The highest investment in the first half of 2018 (and in the history of the industry) went to the popular online tutoring firm VIPKID that raised $500 million in June 2018.
Other Chinese edtech companies that garnered very large amounts of investment in the first half of 2018 included 17Zuoye (which means Homework Together) that obtained $450 million in two tranches in the first half. They are part of the so-called online homework helper industry in China where peers help each other on their homework assignments. Another homework help company called Knowbox obtained $100 million in April 2018.
The online tutoring firm Zhangmen raised $120 million in January 2018. Shanghai's Haifeng Education obtained $100 million in two rounds led by the for-profit education giant TAL Education. DaDaABC (now rebranded simply as DaDa) is an online English language learning provider for children and raised $100 million in January 2018. They launched their online DaDaBaby platform in June 2018 designed to teach English to kids under the age of six. Another online language learning company called Landi English garnered $80.4 million in investment in June 2018.
"We are well on track to shatter the record set in 2017. The investments made to learning technology companies in 2017 were the highest in the history of the learning technology industry by an extraordinary margin. By the end of 2017, global investments made to learning technology companies reached over $9.52 billion, up a massive 30% from the previous record set in 2016," comments Adkins. "The investments made in the first half of 2018 were higher than the $7.33 billion made in the entire year in 2016, which was also a record at the time."
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"This is a remarkable pattern. We have monitored the learning technology markets and investment trends in 122 countries since 1997," comments Adkins. "We view private investment as leading a indicator. Over $46.2 billion has been invested in educational technology companies between 1997 and the first half of 2018 and a striking 69% of that was invested in just the last three years and a half years."
In the first half of 2018, 88% of the total investments made went to consumer-facing and corporate-facing companies combined; 80 consumer-facing companies garnered $5.25 billion. This is 64% of the total amount of investment made in the first half and seems to be far outpacing the pattern set in 2017. In the entire year of 2017, 40% of the total funding went to consumer-facing companies.
In the first half of 2018, $1.99 billion went to 156 corporate-facing learning technology companies. That is 24% of the total investments made in 2018 so far. Despite the high number of deals, this may indicate a downward trend for corporate-facing companies. In the entire year of 2017, 39% of learning technology investment went to corporate-facing firms.
In the first half, $793.8 million (or 9.6% of all funding) went to 78 PreK-12 companies and $205.4 million (2.5%) was invested in 29 higher education and tertiary learning technology firms. These funding amounts are still quite high but appear to pale in comparison to the amounts that went to consumer and corporate companies.
"The most significant change in the investment patterns in the learning technology industry in 2017 and the first half of 2018 was a sharp spike in investments made to next-generation learning companies, particularly companies offering products based on artificial intelligence (AI), and Mixed Reality (augmented reality and virtual reality)," adds Adkins. "Capital is also flowing to new companies that develop Game-based Learning and educational robots for children. The industry is in a period of profound innovation and transformation."
In the first half of 2018, $867.9 was invested in educational robot companies (mostly in China) and $749.2 million was invested in 84 Game-based Learning companies. $628.4 million went to 54 AI-based Learning companies, $451.0 went to 30 Cognitive Learning companies, and $428.1 million was invested in 33 Mixed Reality (AR or VR) learning companies. Driven in large part by the high demand for one-to-one online education in China, a breathtaking $2.9 billion went to 90 online tutoring firms in the first half of 2018. There is a massive demand for online tutoring in China, particularly English language learning for kids.
In stark contrast, a mere $153.8 million was invested in 24 Self-paced eLearning companies in the first half providing further evidence of the lack of investor interest in legacy learning technologies.
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 122 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, game mechanics, robotics, cognitive computing, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and augmented reality.
Media Contact: Sam Adkins, Metaari, 360-805-4298, firstname.lastname@example.org
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