Global Edtech Investments in the First Three Quarters of 2018 Shatter Records

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SEATTLE, Oct. 2, 2018 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — “An astonishing $10.58 billion in investment flowed to learning technology firms in the first three quarters of 2018,” reports Sam S. Adkins, Metaari’s Chief Researcher. “I have been tracking learning technology investment activity for twenty-two years and I have never seen such an incredible burst of global activity. A total of 681 companies were funded in the first three quarters of 2018 including 151 companies in China. To put this in context, 503 companies were funded in the first three quarters of 2017 garnering a combined total of $6.72 billion by that time.”

Metaari publishes their annual learning technology investment whitepaper in the first week of January every year. “The 2018 Global Learning Technology Investment Patterns” will be published in early 2018.

“Massive amounts of funding are going to companies in China,” reports Adkins. “Over $5.18 billion of the investments made so far this year went to Chinese companies. In the last twenty-two years the vast majority of the annual investment went to US companies. China will certainly dominate the investment activity in 2018. The highest investment in the first three quarters of 2018 (and in the history of the industry) went to the Chinese Educational Robot company UBTECH Robotics that raised a breathtaking $820 million in May 2018. UBTECH’s funding was led by the Chinese Internet giant Tencent.”

Twenty companies across the globe garnered $100 million or more in funding in the first three quarters of 2018 and twelve of them were in China. The Chinese online tutoring company VIPKID raised $500 million in June 2018. So-called “homework helpers” in China are also attracting large investments; Zuoyebang obtained $350 million in July 2018,  17 Zuoye (which means Homework Together) raised $250 million in March 2018, and Knowbox obtained $100 million in April 2018. The only US edtech company to obtain over $100 million in the first three quarters was Seattle’s DreamBox Learning that raised $130 million in August 2018.

“We have already shattered the record set for the entire year in 2017. At the end of 2017, the investments made to learning technology companies in were the highest in the history of the learning technology industry by an extraordinary margin. By the end of 2017, global investments made to learning technology companies reached over $9.52 billion, up a massive 30% from the previous record set in 2016,” comments Adkins. “The investments made in the first three quarters of 2018 totaling $10.58 billion have surpassed the combined total for the entire year of 2017 by over a billion dollars.”

“This is a remarkable pattern. We have monitored the learning technology markets and investment trends in 122 countries since 1997,” comments Adkins.  “We view private investment as leading a indicator. Over $48.4 billion has been invested in educational technology companies between 1997 and the first three quarters of 2018 and a striking 71% of that was invested in just the last four years.”

Consumer-facing edtech companies are attracting the lion’s share of investment by a wide margin. 55% of the total investments made in 2018 so far went to consumer-facing companies. 251 consumer-facing companies garnered $5.81 billion in the first three quarters of 2018. Corporate-facing edtech companies garnered the second-highest investments. A total of $3.36 billion was invested in 227 corporate-facing edtech companies in the first three quarters of 2018. Combined, consumer and corporate-facing edtech companies accounted for 86.9% of all funding in the first three quarters of 2018.

In contrast, $1.04 billion (or 9.9% of all funding) went to 90 PreK-12 edtech companies across the globe and $334.8 million (3.2% of all funding) was invested in 39 higher education and tertiary learning technology firms in the first three quarters of 2018. These are relatively high amounts for the academic segments.

“The most significant change in the investment patterns in the learning technology industry in 2017 and the first three quarters of 2018 was a sharp spike in investments made to next-generation learning companies, particularly companies offering products based on game mechanics, artificial intelligence (AI), and Mixed Reality,” adds Adkins. “Just over $1 billion was invested in 93 Game-based Learning companies in the first three quarters of 2018. This compares to the $966.0 million that was invested in 151 Game-based Learning companies in the entire year of 2017. This would indicate that while fewer companies are getting funding, they are garnering much higher amounts.”

An interesting leading indicator is the growing amount of funding going to AI-based Learning companies in the last two years. For the entire year of 2017, $1.11 billion was invested in 94 AI-based companies. In the first three quarters of 2018, a total of $911.4 million was invested in 75 AI-based Learning companies across the planet. Mixed Reality Learning companies are also attracting funding. In the first three quarters of 2018, 46 Mixed Reality Learning companies raised $608.7 million.

About Metaari

Metaari (formerly Ambient Insight) is an ethics-based quantitative market research firm that identifies revenue opportunities for advanced learning technology suppliers. We track the learning technology markets in 122 countries. We have the most complete view of the international learning technology market in the industry. Metaari focusses solely on advanced learning technology research on products that utilize psychometrics, neuroscience, game mechanics, robotics, cognitive computing, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and augmented reality.

Media Contact: Sam Adkins, Metaari, 360-805-4298, sam@metaari.com

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SOURCE Metaari