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Record-Smashing Investments Prove Learning Technology’s Future is Bright

The following article, Record-Smashing Investments Prove Learning Technology’s Future is Bright, was first published on Flag And Cross.

What a difference a pandemic makes.

While futurists and technopreneurs have been talking about and developing educational technology (EdTech) for years, it didn’t truly catch on until COVID-19 forced the issue on distance learning and web-fueled educational solutions. The “new normal” acted like a magnet, pulling that future into the present.

And if you’re still an EdTech doubter, forget the rhetoric and just follow the money.

Between January and September of 2021, the EdTech sector saw mergers and acquisitions worth more than $3.35 billion, more than three times the consolidated amounts raised in the last two years — $416 million in 2020 and $783 million in 2019. Similarly, PE-VC fundraises by EdTech firms totaled $3.77 billion in the exact same time period, far exceeding the cumulative $2.22 billion and $968 million raised in 2020 and 2019 respectively, according to data provided by Venture Intelligence.

One of the breakout companies in this sector is Roblox (RBLX). Get Roblox Report debuted in the market last March at $64.50 per share, nearly $20 above the reference price of $45. Shares rose 54.3% to close at $69.47 at the end of its first official day of trading. Roblox is valued at about $42 billion, based on its opening trade, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company posted a stellar third-quarter and is now making strides in the metaverse and EdTech, bringing gamification to education.

In January, the company raised $520 million and now maintains a $40 billion-plus valuation. The primary function of the company is to teach students how to design and code their own educational games. More importantly, the company’s learners ate up 8.7 billion hours of user engagement on the platform in Q3 2020, more than four times the 2.1 billion hours they logged in 2018, based on data from backlinko.com. That pushed revenue up to $587 million for the first nine months of 2020. Roblox is now the highest valued content-based EdTech company in the $10 trillion global edtech industry.

And while Roblox dominates the high end of the spectrum, the more than 1,000 companies in the space continue to chalk up wins in the investment column. Education services platform College Dekho, owned by Girnarsoft Education Services Pvt. Ltd, raised $35 million (Rs 260 crore) in its Series B round of funding, the company said in a Nov 30th statement. The company said it would use the funding to expand their team and platforms to serve a larger number of students and colleges, while also fueling growth in new verticals such as education loans, student accommodation, and coaching for higher education.

EdTech startup NxtWave, which was launched in September 2020 — the heart of the COVID pandemic — has continued to gain steam this past November, raising $2.8 million pre-Series A funding, bootstrapping the company and making it cash-flow positive. The company has grown by 9X in the previous 10 months to $7.5 million ARR, the company said in a statement.

The startup specializes in vernacular, asynchronous, and online cohort-based training programs in Industry 4.0 Tech careers, with a focus on college students, graduates, and early professionals. Over the last two quarters, more than 250 companies have tapped NxtWave graduates, including giants like Google and Jio, according to the company’s statement.

Another company working its own angle in EdTech is the Genius Group, headed by futurist and New York Times best-selling author Roger James Hamilton. Genius Group is a global entrepreneur education company, serving over 2 million students in 200 countries with hands-on, live, interactive, entrepreneur-based content where students and professionals learn about the trends shaping the digital decade, artificial intelligence, digital currencies, decentralized finance, and the metaverse through its EdTech arm, GeniusU.

Moreover, Genius Group is growing through investment and acquisitions, like their pick-up of Entrepreneur Resorts Ltd, comprising luxury resorts and lodges, beach clubs and city co-working hubs, for $32.6m last July. Entrepreneur Resorts is a group of entrepreneur-focused locations offering business leaders professional educational retreats in exotic destinations around the world, including Singapore, Bali, South Africa, and soon to launch in the U.S. They also have a license model with 5 new locations opening up in 2022 across the world.

The move combines old school and new school, adding the brick and mortar campuses provided by Entrepreneur Resorts to deliver the curriculum, while online learning will continue to be offered through the EdTech platform GeniusU.

As the last quarter of 2021 closes, growth in the now $10 trillion EdTech market shows no sign of slowing.

Tim Tapp is the host of the syndicated, conservative talk show “Tapp” into the Truth. He calls East Tennessee home, where he broadcasts and writes. He also still works in Quality Assurance for a food manufacturing company as he takes up the cause of defending our republic. Find out more at www.tappintothetruth.com

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