I’ve crunched the numbers on the year-so-far for ed-tech funding, and 2016 certainly seems to be off to a less auspicious start than 2015. Last year, there were 23 funding rounds in January, totaling over $358 million. By my calculations, there were just 17 this past month, with a total that was less than half 2015’s: $166 million. There were 8 acquisitions. (Of course, January 2015 featured Lynda.com's massive $186 million investment.)
Last year was the first year I kept a record (to the best of my ability) on ed-tech funding. You can find that project at matrix.hackeducation.com. This year, I want to track more details – whether startups are selling products at the K–12 or university or corporate level, for example.
But just like last year, I am making this data freely available. You can find the JSON files in the GitHub repo that powers this website: github.com/audreywatters/funding.
Some observations from this month’s investments:
- About $57 million went to K–12-focused startups; about $63 million went to those focused at the post-secondary level; and about $45 million went to those focused on corporate education.
- Almost half the total amount of money raised this month went to two companies: Jerry Education and Grovo (they each raised $40 million). Not surprising because of these two big rounds, the two areas that raised the most money: tutoring and corporate training.
- Of the 17 startups raising money, 2 were from India, 2 were from China, and 10 were from the US.
- The two companies that raised the most money in 2015 were student loan providers (that is, SoFi and Earnest). The student loan startup sector saw a $20 million raise this year. It’s too early for predictions, but it won’t surprise me if this pattern (trend) continues.