Venture Capitalist Ed-Tech Investments Rose Sharply Over Last Decade, Report Finds

Contributing Writer

International investment in educational technology has spiked over the last decade with venture capitalists pouring 14 times more into the sector in 2019 than they did in 2010, according to a report released Tuesday.

The pre-K through workforce ed-tech sector saw $7 billion in venture capital investments in 2019, which is $6.5 billion more than 2010, according to the report, from education research firm HolonIQ. Over $87 billion is expected to be invested in ed tech over the next decade.

As for where those investments are being made, companies headquartered in China topped the list of countries during the last decade, as Chinese and other investors spent a total of $16.6 billion on ed-tech investments globally, HolonIQ co-CEO and co-founder Patrick Brothers said in an email.

Outside of China, U.S.-headquartered companies attracted a total of $10.5 billion throughout the last decade; European-headquartered companies drew $1.8 billion; India-based companies saw $1.8 billion in investments; and, companies headquartered in the rest of the world brought in a combined $1.7 billion on ed-tech products, according to the report.

Ed tech hit a peak of total global VC funding in 2018, posting a sum of $8.5 billion.

EdTechVC

“Emerging Markets such as Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia are growing rapidly and have large under-served populations looking to leapfrog traditional developed education systems to lower cost and improve access and outcomes, supporting learners, teachers and administrators with advanced technology,” the report notes.

Education and training expenditures from governments, parents, individuals, and corporations are expected to reach $10 trillion by 2030, according to the report.

Yet Brothers also pointed to Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development data showing that public spending in education is decreasing in the aggregate over time, while the HolonIQ report says that less than 3 percent of total public and private expenditures in the K-12 through workforce sector was allocated to digital products.

In 2018, digital education investments totaled $142 billion worldwide, and are expected to rise to a total of $342 billion by 2025.

Advanced technology learning and education applications will start to hit their strides by 2025 with augmented and virtual reality and artificial intelligence becoming more integrated into core education delivery and learning processes, most likely starting in the corporate and non-accredited sectors, according to the report.

“Public-private partnerships will be critical to supporting future growth, innovation and access to education,” the report notes.

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