21 Fastest-Growing Edtech Startups (2021)

Josh Howarth | December 27, 2021 | 61 views

EdTech Startups
This is a list of growing startups in the education technology space. Overall, VC funding in the edtech space grew by 94% last year, reaching $13 billion.

Big names like Udemy, MasterClass and Teachable might get all the attention. (And we will cover many edtech unicorns on this list.) But there are plenty of smaller, fast-growing Edtech startups to keep an eye on in 2021 and beyond.

Without further ado, let's dive into the list.

Teachoo

5-year search growth: 7500%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2014

Location: Pune, India

Funding: Undisclosed

What they do: Teachoo is an education platform that hosts a variety of online courses designed for English speaking students in India. Current course offering include tax preparation, Microsoft Excel and math.

Outschool

5-year search growth: 6300%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: San Francisco, CA

Funding: $240.2M (Series D)

What they do: Outschool has created an educational platform for small live classes designed for homeschooling. Specifically, students and parents can choose from over 1,000 live classes designed for children, including ballet, drawing, STEM skills and anthropology. To date the company has had 500,000 students take at least once class and a total of 140,000 classes. Outschool now has a valuation of $3 billion and teachers have generated a reported $45 million from the platform.

Preply

5-year search growth: 3200%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2012

Location: Brookline, Massachusetts

Funding: $50.6M (Series B)

What they do: Preply is an online marketplace for finding tutors in a variety of different languages. The Preply platform also contains a "structured learning" option for those that want a tutor to help them take a more organized route. In addition to rankings, Preply also ranks tutors based on a machine learning model. The company reports that they have over 100,000 students on their platform.

Labster

5-year search growth: 575%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2011

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Funding: $103.5M (Series C)

What they do: Labster hosts several "virtual labs" for doing experiments in VR. Specifically, students use VR and AR software to practice lab techniques virtually. The major benefit is that students can practice in a safe environment. And prepare them for real-world lab work. Labster currently has over 150 virtual labs on its platform and boasts over 1,000 University clients.

Cambly

5-year search growth: 99X+

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2012

Location: San Francisco, CA

Funding: Undisclosed (Series B)

What they do: Cambly is an on-demand video platform for finding English language tutors. Includes features for lesson recordings, chat translations, courses and certifications. Cambly has a plan specifically for organizations that want to learn English.

Lessonly

5-year search growth: -4%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2012

Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

Funding: $29.1M (Series C)

What they do: Lessonly is software to help facilitate in-house staff training for companies. In other words, it's a learning platform for the B2B market. Their software comes with plug-and-play modules for training customer service reps and sales staff. Along with interactive tools that help employees practice scenarios they'll face in the real world.

Embrace

5-year search growth: 1900%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 1999

Location: Highland, Illinois

Funding: Undisclosed

What they do: Embrace is a tool for helping teachers document student performance in the classroom. The tool is designed to save educator's time when creating lesson plans and documenting results. Embrace reports that their tool cuts down reporting time by about 50% compared to traditional methods.

GoPractice

5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2013

Location: Simpsonville, South Carolina

Funding: Undisclosed

What they do: GoPractice is an online training program for learning how to grow a customer base. Unlike some of the other edtech companies on this list, GoPractice doesn't offer a variety of courses in different areas. Instead, their 12-week course is designed to help startups find product market fit, launch, and scale their product. GoPractice includes lessons on product management, systems thinking, and data analytics.

BetterUp

5-year search growth: 600%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: San Francisco, CA

Funding: $569.8M (Series E)

What they do: BetterUp is a coaching and training platform designed to boost employee engagement and productivity. Focused on enterprise companies, BetterUp is technically SaaS. But also delivers coaching services through its platform. The company is currently valued at $4.7 billion and has raised $600 million.

CuriosityStream

5-year search growth: 273%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: Silver Spring, Maryland

Funding: $279.7M (Post-IPO Equity)

What they do: CuriosityStream is "Netflix for educational content", like documentaries and educational series. Plans range from $2.99/mo for HD video to $9.99 for 4K quality. CuriosityStream's advisory board includes notable names like Glenn Close, Don Henley, and Michio Kaku. In Q3 2021, CuriosityStream posted $18.7 million in revenue and grew their direct subscriber count by 50% over the past year.

Udemy

5-year search growth: 223%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2009

Location: San Francisco, CA

Funding: $311.4M (Secondary Market)

What they do: Udemy is a platform with 130,00 courses on dozens of different topics, from marketing to singing. In addition to à la carte course offerings, Udemy also has a "Udemy for Business" plan. This a subscription service that allows unlimited access to 5,000 courses.

Lingoda

5-year search growth: 900%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: Berlin, Germany

Funding: $79.1M (Private Equity)

What they do: Lingoda is an online language school.  The startup’s platform offers group or 1-to-1 classes in English, German, French, or Spanish. Also, Lingoda develops its own learning material in-house, which helps standardize the methodology. The company reports that they have 70,000 students and 1,400 teachers.

GoStudent

5-year search growth: 4900%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: Vienna, Austria

Funding: $345.4M (Series C)

What they do: GoStudent is an online tutoring platform. The website helps find tutors across 14 different school subjects, from math to English. The site claims to have more than 10,000 students. In November 2021, GoStudent became the highest valued K through 12 education technology platform in Europe with a valuation of $1.6 billion.

Brainly

5-year search growth: 2000%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2009

Location: Kraków, Poland

Funding: $148.5M (Series D)

What they do: Brainly is a social learning network. Users can ask questions about a range of different school subjects. And help their peers in order to receive points. The number of Brainly users grew from 150 million users in 2019 to 350 million a year later.


Cuemath

5-year search growth: 300%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2013

Location: Bengaluru, India

Funding: $64.5M (Series C)

What they do: Cuemath operates a live-class platform for learning math and coding. Classes are held on Cuemath’s own platform with access to video calls and personalized worksheets. Parents can track the progress of their child on the app, which updates after each class.

Quizizz

5-year search growth: 1328%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: Bangalore, India

Funding: $47M (Series B)

What they do: Quizizz is a gamified learning platform for children and employees. Teachers can create quizzes or use a library of existing content for student assignments. Employers can create polls or quizzes to support employee training (during presentations, onboarding, etc.). Reports are available in the product with instant feedback on class performance.

Photomath

5-year search growth: 470%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2014

Location: San Mateo, CA

Funding: $29M (Series B)

What they do: Photomath is a mobile application for solving mathematical equations instantly. The app uses the smartphone's camera to scan math problems and provide solutions with step-by-step explanations. Photomath has more than 220 million downloads from App Store and Google Play.

Mursion

5-year search growth: -38%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2014

Location: San Francisco, CA

Funding: $35.1M (Series B)

What they do: Mursion is a VR training platform for workplace training. Specifically, developing "emotional quotient" (EQ) skills. Their product delivers personalized simulations with the use of AI and human specialists. The company has offers training programs for leadership training, healthcare, and more.

SplashLearn

5-year search growth: 4900%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2010

Location: Gurugram, India

Funding: $25M (Series C)

What they do: SplashLearn is a gamified math learning product for elementary school children. Their content library includes more than 4,000 games designed to explain math concepts.

RangeForce

5-year search growth: 700%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2015

Location: Manassas, VA

Funding: $18M (Series A)

What they do: RangeForce operates a cloud-based learning platform for cybersecurity training. The startup's product offers a cyber attack simulator for employees to improve their skills. Managers can track the team's performance with reporting features.

CoachHub

5-year search growth: 99X+

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2018

Location: Berlin, Germany

Funding: $133M (Series B)

What they do: CoachHub is a B2B digital coaching provider. This startup creates personalized talent development programs for employees to hone their skills and delivers them remotely via video. Employees and HR teams can measure performance within the application. CoachHub has more than 2,500 business coaches in its network.

Conclusion

That completes this list of 21 Edtech startups with significant growth in 2021.

What stands out about many of these companies is the fact that they cater to completely different markets, from schoolchildren all the way up to executives that spend most of their time in B2B boardrooms.

Spotlight

Adelphi University

Adelphi is a modern metropolitan university with a personalized approach to higher learning.Adelphi University is a highly awarded, nationally ranked, powerfully connected doctoral research university offering exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs and professional training with particular strength in its Core Four—Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, Professions, and Health and Wellness. Adelphi is dedicated to transforming students’ lives through small classes, hands-on learning and innovative ways to support student success.

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Article | August 8, 2022

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Article | July 11, 2022

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Ellucian and DVE Partnership Helps Higher Education Institutions Deliver on Digital Transformation in Australia

Ellucian | September 28, 2022

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n2y Provides Pathway for Independent Learning Through New Academic Intervention Curriculum Solution, Inspire

n2y LLC | October 04, 2022

n2y, provider of comprehensive, technology-powered solutions for students with unique learning challenges, today launches Inspire, a new academic intervention curriculum that guides struggling and at-risk students from teacher-led instruction to independent learning as they acquire the skills they need for success in school and life.The new solution equips educators with research-based instructional strategies that support the development of key academic, critical-thinking and generalization skills that will ultimately help to close learning gaps. Inspire gives teachers efficient assessments to pinpoint the skill gaps, along with lesson plans, explicit instructional resources and interactive activities to address them. Inspire is aligned with key standards in English language arts and math for kindergarten through second grade, where research shows the greatest area of need. Resources for grades K-2 are available now with grades 3-5 available in January 2023. "Inspire proves that struggling and at-risk students can make tremendous gains with the right support, It provides a pathway for students to build confidence as teachers gradually give learners more control - from explicit instruction to guided practice and independent learning." n2y Chief Innovation Officer, Alli Vice. Inspire is aligned to general education standards and can be used across the school — from special education classrooms and resource rooms to those receiving RTI intervention in general education classrooms. It improves student engagement by extending learning beyond the classroom setting and across subject areas, and serves the needs of all students, regardless of their strengths and areas for growth. It also saves teachers time by creating detailed reports showing student progress and growth for students with individualized education programs (IEP), and can help monitor progress for response to intervention (RTI). And because Inspire offers instruction, assessment and reporting capabilities, schools no longer invest time and resources on multiple solutions. Through Inspire: Students achieve meaningful outcomes through an evidence-based active learning approach that supports generalization. Teachers meet the needs of every learner with highly efficient assessments that pinpoint skill gaps, facilitate differentiated intervention and provide critical performance data. Administrators demonstrate RTI success and IEP compliance with progress monitoring tools and reports that convey student progress and growth across a school or district. Inspire was designed to reach the needs of students who are struggling and require extra, focused support to learn," Ed Holmes, CEO said. "We can't wait to empower educators with this solution so they can close the learning gaps and get students back on track. About n2y n2y is changing the lives of special education administrators and teachers, therapists and paraprofessionals, and all the students they serve. Its award-winning solutions are designed specifically to address the needs of the whole child and help unique learners meet their state's standards. Multiple integrated, evidence- and research-based solutions empower educators to teach and students to achieve. Differentiated, standards-based academic instruction, enhanced by proactive behavior management, combines with collaborative IEP development to support learning for every student.

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CORPORATE EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Coursera Launches Expanded Clips Offering with Nearly 200K Short Videos and Lessons to Accelerate Skills Development for Employees

Coursera | October 03, 2022

Coursera, Inc. today announced the expansion of Clips, which now provides employees access to nearly 200,000 short videos and lessons designed to help them begin learning high-demand skills in under 10 minutes. “Lack of career development is a key reason many employees leave an organization. Yet employees have less time to devote to learning than ever before, A growing number of employees are now looking to gain job-specific skills much faster through shorter, more targeted content. With this shift towards microlearning, Clips enables employees to learn specific skills with 5-10 min videos. It also provides clear pathways into courses for deeper skill development, while driving continuous learning to ensure employees have the right skills to accelerate company growth and innovation.” Leah Belsky, Chief Enterprise Officer at Coursera. “ The initial Clips on Coursera offering featured bite-sized videos focused on business, tech, data, leadership, and human skills. The expanded Clips offering now provides a more comprehensive library of content, including a higher volume of videos for skills that are becoming increasingly more important like leadership and management. Currently, 83 percent of businesses feel it is important to develop leaders at all levels. Yet less than 5 percent have actually implemented leadership training across every level within their organization. To help address this growing need, Coursera has increased the number of leadership and management-related Clips by 10x. As learners quickly gain skills through Clips, many then seek opportunities for deeper development. Thirty-six percent of learners that have viewed Clips to address their in-the-moment learning needs have gone on to enroll in at least one course1. The most viewed Clips to date include a range of data, cloud, and productivity-focused content such as: Welcome to Python, by University of Michigan [1 min] Fundamentals of Data Science, by IBM [2 min] The Business Case for Visionary Leadership, by University of Michigan [7 min] Why is Storytelling Important?, by Macquarie University [9 min] Key Cloud Service Providers and their Services, by IBM [6 min] What is SQL Anyway?, by University of California, Davis [7 min] Customize Google Calendar, by Google [4 min] Taking Charge of Excel, by Macquarie University [6 min] Global industry leaders and government organizations like Google, New York State Department of Labor, Alstom, and Bosch have adopted Clips to help accelerate skills development within their workforce. Google in particular has made Clips available to all employees worldwide, helping many learners obtain skills that will help them elevate their job performance and begin unlocking new advancement opportunities. With Clips, Coursera now offers fully scalable learning paths featuring everything from short videos and lessons to professional certificates, and degree programs. For my role, developing skills in programming, camera hardware, and design is crucial. Finding relevant courses to acquire these new skills, and gaining practical, hands-on experience has been a challenge,” said Doris Chen, hardware design engineer at Google. The Clips videos provide relevant content focused on everything from camera and imaging to optical system design. As I continue my training, I’m looking forward to enrolling in more advanced classes and potentially earning an additional degree online to help further my career.I have always been fascinated by the concept of skills development programs and self-paced learning, and the ways it can assist to level up your career,said Rajat Batra, software engineer at Google. “Clips takes this concept to the next level by adding short and focused job related videos. These videos act as a good starting point to develop a higher level of understanding for several concepts.Coursera for Business now enables over 3,500 companies across the globe to deploy world-class skills development content from top businesses and universities. The company’s skills platform gives organizations the ability to assess, measure, and benchmark skills in their workforce. Recent platform innovations including LevelSets are helping employees to quickly determine their proficiency in key skills and identify areas to focus on moving forward. In addition, SkillSets help employees develop specific skills for specific roles. These Skill Sets provide the foundation for Coursera’s Leadership and Data & Analytics Academies, which offer a packaged learning experience based on the depth of skill needed for specific roles across an organization. About Coursera Coursera (NYSE: COUR) was launched in 2012 by two Stanford Computer Science professors, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, with a mission to provide universal access to world-class learning. It is now one of the largest online learning platforms in the world, with 107 million registered learners as of June 30, 2022. Coursera partners with over 275 leading university and industry partners to offer a broad catalog of content and credentials, including Guided Projects, courses, Specializations, certificates, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Institutions around the world use Coursera to upskill and reskill their employees, citizens, and students in many high-demand fields, including data science, technology, and business.

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