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This post first appeared on matrix.hackeducation.com.

I’ve updated the Google spreadsheet detailing the year’s investments and acquisitions in education companies one final time. And I’ve exported the data (in JSON format) too; it can be found in this project’s repo on GitHub.

According to my calculations, these are the startups that raised the most money in ed-tech in 2015:

  1. Social Finance ($1 billion)
  2. Earnest ($275 million)
  3. HotChalk ($230 million)
  4. Social Finance ($200 million)
  5. TutorGroup ($200 million)
  6. Lynda.com ($186 million)
  7. Hujang.com ($157 million)
  8. Udacity ($105 million)
  9. 17zuoye and AltSchool (tied with $100 million each)
  10. Xioazhan Jiaoyu ($84 million)
  11. General Assembly ($70 million)
  12. Udemy ($65 million)
  13. Yuantiku ($60 million)
  14. Civitas Learning ($60 million)
  15. NetDragon Education ($52.5 million)
  16. Genshuixue and Varsity Tutors (tied with $50 million each)
  17. Coursera ($49.5 million)
  18. Knewton ($47.25 million)
  19. Ortbotix and Duolingo (tied with $45 million each)
  20. LittleBits ($44.2 million)

Total ed-tech investment for 2015: $4,347,226,000-ish.

I’ve already written a few thousand words analyzing “The Business of Ed-Tech,” but I have a few more thoughts about this particular project.

Note: I’m going to start next year with a new GitHub repo and website where I’ll track on ed-tech funding: the appropriately titled funding.hackeducation.com. I have a better sense of what I did well and what I did poorly this year.

Next year, I’ll track a little bit more data, including the countries of the companies raising money. I also plan to have a one or two word category description for each company (eg “test prep,” “tutoring,” “student loans,” and other things investors seem to love). I’ll also indicate if the company’s products are marketed to schools, teachers, students (and parents), or other businesses. I’ll indicate if the company is pitched at the K–12, post-secondary, corporate training level. And I’ll list the total each company has raised. Hopefully this will become a lot more useful of a project once the data collection gets better.

For what it’s worth, I’m not going to use Google for next year’s project. It’s not been reliable once the size of the file has grown. I’ll (likely) use Excel. I will continue to make JSON files available, and I’ll probably post a CSV regularly as well.

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Audrey Watters


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Ed-Tech Funding

A Hack Education Project

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