Edtech Is Growing, with Opportunities for Expansion into the US

edtech us expansion

January 27, 2022

This is a good time to be working in edtech. The sector is growing quickly, and there are opportunities to expand edtech businesses into the US.

Online education is currently experiencing a renaissance. In the wake of the global pandemic, many students have had to stay at home, and education has moved online. This has created opportunities for a number of edtech companies.

Edtech investment is booming. There was $21 billion of venture capital investment in edtech startups globally in 2021, three times more than before the pandemic, according to HolonIQ, a market intelligence provider. This includes $8.3 billion in funding in the US, up from $2.5 billion in 2020. This growth in edtech funding was largely in the United States, European Union, and India, while investing in China fell because of new laws and regulations in China restricting the sector.

There are now 32 edtech unicorns, or private companies worth more than $1 billion, globally, according to HolonIQ. They’re collectively valued at more than $97 billion. There were four edtech IPOs in 2021, for Udemy, Duolingo, Zhangmen, and Coursera.

Edtech unicorns in the US include Course Hero, a study material platform; Handshake, a job platform for college students; Outschool, an online class platform for children; and Masterclass, a lifelong learning platform.

Other edtech companies include LingoAce, an online Chinese learning platform; TAL (Tomorrow Advancing Life), an edtech platform; and Allschool, a course platform for children.

During the 2020-2021 school year, school districts in the US each used 1,449 digital tools on average per month, up 52% from 2019-2020, according to a report by LearnPlatform cited by The Journal. The top digital products used by K-12 schools and students include a variety of Google products, YouTube, Zoom, Wikipedia, Clever, Meet, Quizlet, and Canvas, according to the report.

93% of US parents said their children had some online instruction since the COVID-19 pandemic started, according to the Pew Research Center. Several hundred US school districts have set up online schools and plan to operate them for years to come, according to The New York Times.

Online learning has been popular. 73 percent of US college students say that they would like to take fully online courses in the future, and 68 percent said they would like to see greater use of technology in in-person courses, according to a survey by Bay View Analytics cited by Inside Higher Ed.

More universities also are offering fully online programs. For instance, Georgia Tech offers an online master’s degree in computer science for only $7,000 and had more than 10,000 enrollments for the fall of 2020, according to the Harvard Business Review.

In 2020, there were more than 1.2 billion children in 186 countries affected by school closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, providing new opportunities for edtech companies, according to the World Economic Forum. BYJU’s, an edtech unicorn based in Bangalore, India, offered free live classes on its app in the wake of the pandemic. And many students in China used Tencent Classroom to access their courses.

The number of new learners on edX increased 161% between November 2019 and November 2020, edX founder and CEO Anant Agarwal told CNBC. He believes that was due to the workers who lost their jobs during the pandemic as well as workers who became concerned about improving their skills.

If you’re building a global edtech business, this is a good time to expand into the US as online learning has become more normalized. Alariss can match you with top US sales and business development talent and serve as the Employer of Record (EOR) to help you expand into the US. If you’re interested, book a call with us today.


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