By 2027, the global edtech market is expected to be valued at $605.4 billion. In this article, we’ll share our list of top 25 education startups in 2022.
Top education technology startups that are just taking off
First, let’s talk about edtech startups that are currently going through the initial development stage. All of them have good odds of success and will be likely to bring a large income to their investors.
This one was launched in 2021 to revolutionize the way of studying per K-12. It heavily relies on gamification. Other educational projects are also trying to blend learning with gaming, but Kalam Labs does this in a highly disruptive and innovative way. In the process of playing games, users learn about the subjects and concepts according to their grade in the K-12 system.
Online coaching is the second fastest-growing industry worldwide. In 2022, its market value is expected to reach $1.34 billion. Coaches and tutors launch their courses on their personal websites and social media, facing the problems of testing, marketing, and analytics. Tutors used to look for miscellaneous tools all over the Internet — and now, they can join Utobo and find all the necessary instruments on a single dashboard with an intuitive interface. This platform enables coaches to create, test, and deliver their informational products.
This startup was founded in 2021 and acts as a social network as well as an edtech aggregator. It allows students to learn and network, educators to teach and companies to head-hunt.
This platform was founded in 2021 as a community for school and college students. It enables youngsters to discover exhaustive information about skills, internships, and jobs in one place. Beetle facilitates the process of looking for opportunities and choosing one’s vocation, saving students a lot of time and nerves. Plus, this platform promotes mental well-being amongst teenagers and encourages networking.
The target audience of this one is children. The Atorika Spaces platform was conceived as dedicated rooms that would host workshops for kids aged between 5 to 15. Boys and girls will learn from a high-tech environment. They will be able to take part in supervised group workshops. Atorika’s slogan is “art and science through experience”.
This e-learning platform was built for aviation market professionals. It offers custom-made solutions and learning paths to upskill and reskill the aviation workforce. Its primary competitive edge relies on combining modern learning methods with the latest IT advancements. World-famous instructors will share their skills and expertise with students within the framework of digital learning infrastructure.
Education startups and companies that formed the industry
Now, we’ll focus on education startups that have been around for over a decade. They have shaped the current edtech industry and remain relevant no matter how trends change.
This company was launched in 1997 to allow teachers to provide quality education. It disrupts online education, digitalizes the teaching world, and fosters student-teacher engagement. Blackboard’s total valuation has reached $700 million.
This one was founded in 2011 and was previously known as Think and Learn Pvt Ltd. It began as a relatively simple educational platform but managed to become one of the main trendsetters of the industry thanks to ongoing innovation. Students can watch video lessons on Byju’s website or its mobile app. The education process largely relies on gamification. This company makes e-learning accessible and easy for everyone. Science and math are Byju’s primary focus, but it encompasses the entire K-12 segment of school education. In 2019, it became the most valued edtech company, standing at $5.4 billion.
Teachers Pay Teachers
This platform was founded in 2006 and operates as an open marketplace. It secures funding via the private equity model. Only a handful of edtech companies work on an identical business model. The Pre to K-12 segment has a homogenous study syllabus. On TPT, teachers can get in touch with each other to exchange study material (i.e. lesson plans, worksheets) and strengthen their network of professional contacts.
It was launched in 2006 and sticks to the concept of adaptive learning, which is not too common in the industry. It strives to make the educational process exciting and intuitive. Dreambox relies on technology to teach math and make lessons psychologically comfortable. Before a new student begins to study on the platform, the algorithms assess their level of knowledge and adjust the educational content accordingly.
This startup was founded in 2012 and raised $313 million in 9 funding rounds. It’s one of the largest educational platforms where students can complete courses provided by over 150 top universities, scattered all around the world. These courses cover dozens of subjects, from digital marketing to foodtech, psychology, and math. Users can benefit from community forums and access on-demand video lectures.
This cloud-based platform was launched in 2008. It enables educators to allot assignments and create new courses. Over 3000 universities are listed on Instructure. The primary competitive edge of this company is its approach to blending MOOCs (massive open online courses) with LMS (learning management systems).
It was created in 2008 and raised $182.3 million in 9 funding rounds. Knewton specializes in adaptive learning. In addition to learning subjects, students can get to know their own weak and strong sides. Plus, they get personal recommendations about learning techniques while teachers receive analytical reports for the students.
This startup was launched in 2005 and has become a versatile platform. Here, students can find subject matter and digital notes as well as get online tutoring services. Chegg helps students with self-learning and homework. Plus, it offers them a place to sell, rent, and purchase books to get knowledge with minimum expenses.
This one was launched in 2000 and raised $7 million in 3 funding rounds. It acts as a non-profit organization and promotes practical learning. If a student has a promising project, they can find a donor here. Young talents don’t need to rely on self-funding anymore. Thanks to a donor, they get financial and creative freedom. By working on practical projects, students can better understand theoretical subjects.
Launched in 2010, this portal provides certifications for professional courses. That’s a rare specialization among ed tech startups. Simplelearn raised $31 million in 4 funding rounds. It enables workers from various industries to hone their skills, learn more about their industries, and discover new job opportunities.
Education technology startups focused on e-learning
Here, we’d like to list the greatest startups to watch in the e-learning sphere. These are established brands that already have a large following and are rapidly evolving to attract even more users.
Founded in 2016, it enables educational establishments to hire top teachers. Schools don’t need to pay fees and commissions to recruiters. All the professionals listed on the platform have relevant skills, knowledge, and expertise. Teachers can land well-paid jobs with excellent opportunities for self-fulfillment.
It was launched in 2013, raised $825 million in 7 funding rounds, and can boast a total valuation of $8 billion. The platform is focused on virtual learning. Students can learn from native English teachers who work from home, connecting with clients from all over the world.
It was founded in 2015 and its total funding reaches $228 million. Its target audience is companies that want to provide additional education to their staff members. Students don’t need to take a break from work in order to study. With Guild Education, they can hone their practical skills and get theoretical knowledge.
This one was launched in 2016; its total value reaches $500 million. It’s one of the fastest-growing companies in its segment. The platform meticulously picks the best educators who create video lessons in all subjects for students of all ages.
Founded in 2015, this company attracted $33 million in investments, and its total valuation reaches $40 million. As the name of the platform suggests, it relies on cloud technology. Its target audience is IT professionals who would like to acquire new skills and get certificates.
This platform was launched in 2010 and raised $15 million of funding. Young entrepreneurs can get knowledge and improve their ideas here. Established leaders and CEOs can strengthen their networks of professional contacts and update their skills.
It was created in 2015 and raised $26.4 million in the last funding round. Its mission is to enable students from all regions of the planet to get education from North American schools and institutions without relocating to the US. The platform features around 1200 courses.
It was launched in 2011 and got $22 million in the latest funding round. Unlike most other startups from this article, Sparx is focused on one subject only: math. It has few competitors in this segment. Students get access to virtual math classes while teachers can understand how to explain this discipline better.
Founded in 2013, this platform specializes in medical education. It’s one of the largest companies in this segment, and it raised $42 million in 4 funding rounds. Students get access to the latest medical study material and answer exam-style questions. They can highlight the most important information and take notes right in the platform’s interface.
Tips for those planning to launch or invest in an edtech startup
The demand for edtech startups will only increase in the next few years. By 2025, over 100 edtech companies are expected to reach unicorn status. By 2030, around 1 billion jobs will be transformed which will require upskilling and reskilling of the global workforce. Less than 4% of expenses in the education and training sphere account for the digital segment, so there is a lot of room for growth.
Below, we’ll list the steps that you need to complete to launch a promising edtech startup. If you’d like to invest in an education company, try to find out whether it has completed all the steps — that should boost its odds of success.
- Explore the market. Find out what’s missing and what you can offer to your audience.
- Narrow down your niche to determine whether there will be enough clients willing to pay for your idea. The better you know your niche, the easier it should be for you to detect your USPs as well as predict and analyze market trends.
- Assess the weak and strong points of your competitors. Analyze their strategies, features of their products, mergers and acquisitions, and other meaningful aspects of running their businesses. It would be wise to store this data in a well-structured format in a spreadsheet program.
- Validate your idea. Make sure people indeed have the problem that you can fix — and you have enough competencies to help them get rid of their pain points. Over 40% of startups fail to take off because they don’t target the real needs of their audiences. Reach out to your potential customers and ask them who they are and what their occupations are. Avoid talking directly about the problems that people might face at work. Instead, discuss various situations that people need to handle at work and mention problems in an opportune context. You shouldn’t ask your audience to predict their behavior in the future because such forecasts hardly ever come true. Instead, let them tell you about their past experiences. Postpone selling your idea and focus on listening to people. Ask them to share facts and not opinions with you. Let them only talk about their personal experiences and not about their colleagues. When your potential customers try to explain to you which features they would like to see in a product that can fix their pain points, ask them to talk about the desired outcome instead. Finish the conversation by asking people how much they’re ready to pay for a helpful solution.
- Define your unique value proposition. Consumers should understand why they should use your services and not those of your competitors. Your UVP can consist of the functionality of your product, its integrations, design, pricing, or other meaningful factors.
- Select the optimal business model. Determine the main features of your product and the ways it could create value for consumers. Strive to understand how exactly you’ll be making a profit on your edtech startup and which goals you’ll be able to achieve. For instance, you can build products to sell them directly to educational establishments. Or, you can choose to capture a large market share as your top priority and invest most of your resources in accelerating growth. In the edtech industry, your business needs to be sustainable and not just able to bring a quick buck to you.
- Hire or outsource skilled professionals. All your team members should perceive education as their vocation. To succeed in this industry, you and your staff should stay in close touch with the educational community. Always attend local schools, visit profile conferences, and regularly talk to educators about their needs. This part of your work might resemble working for a conventional educational business. But since it’s edtech, you’ll need to hire a CTO who’ll be able to oversee your development team and design the product. Plus, there should be a member in your team who could build a scalable monetization model and develop a go-to-market strategy for your product.
- Start with a minimal viable product. An MVP only has the most basic features of the product that you’re planning to sell. Building an MVP must take minimum funds and effort. You’ll ask consumers to test your MVP and provide feedback to you. Based on the feedback, you’ll be able to fine-tune your product at an affordable cost.
Once you’ve finalized all these steps, you should fund the startup either by bootstrapping or with the help of VC or angel investors.
Top companies from the industry allow kids, teenagers, university students, and grown-up professionals to get new theoretical knowledge and practical skills. They enable educational establishments to recruit the best teachers and deliver their content to consumers from all over the world. The edtech industry has huge growth potential. If you’d like to launch an educational technology startup or invest in a company founded by someone else, it’s a good time to do it now.