We are aware of how quickly we are evolving. The way we live, work and play has been completely transformed over the few years. With the advent of technology, even learning modes and preferences have been completely altered. The world currently is witnessing rapid growth in technology, especially AI technology. And we can definitely confer that it will have a huge impact on the edtech industry, just like the way COVID-19 Pandemic had.
An education technology company basically aims to leverage the power of technology to enhance the learning experience of students and professionals as well as provide them with unmatched support throughout their learning journey. To contribute to this noble cause, more and more companies are starting up with their own visions and missions. Companies like BYJU’s, edX, and Duolingo have disrupted the edtech industry and brought up new trends in online learning.
In this article, we will have a look at some of the latest trends in the online education sector, from soaring investments to providing incredible value to students. You won’t want to miss the third point, so keep reading.
Top trends in the education technology industry
- Cash inflows – a large number of edtech companies becoming unicorns: Not long ago, just 4 years back, say before the COVID pandemic, the total investment in the edtech industry was around $7 billion as stated in HolonIQ. But now, the value of BYJU’s alone is $22 billion. Age of Learning, a US-based edtech company became the first Unicorn in the education sector in 2016. And in the coming years, to be specific in 2021 and 2022, several other companies joined this feat. If we look at the stats, the global investment in the edtech industry a decade ago was around $500 million which grew to $20.8 in 2022. And we can definitely see this rising trend for increased investment in edtech companies in the future also.
- Mergers and acquisitions: Mergers and acquisitions are important strategies businesses incorporate, either to completely eliminate their competition or to provide extra value to their customers. We have seen this in the case of Facebook acquiring Instagram and WhatsApp. But the edtech industry is also not bereft of that. As per Jackim Woods and Co., Kahoot was acquired by Goldman Sach’s Private Equity for a $1.2 billion all-cash deal. Kahoot is a very popular online quiz tool developer and is also traded publicly. Similarly, the tech giant BYJU’s has acquired Great Learning Pvt Ltd, Epic!, WhiteHat Jr., US-based Osmo, TutorVista Edurite from Pearson, and a few others. In the future, we can see even more M&As.
- Not just online learning: Now education technology companies don’t look only to bombard students and professionals with knowledge, practices, and learning hubs. They want to be part of their customers’ journey, right from beginning to end, i.e. from starting to learn to getting placed. With this motive, many companies have partnered or merged with recruiting and staffing agencies to help their students get placed in reputed companies. India’s upGrad is one of the finest examples that did so. Apart from that, Arizona State University provides free counseling and mentoring to its online students.
- India leading the world in terms of investment in the edtech industry: In the past few years, the world has shifted its investment toward India in the education technology industry. India is a great market when it comes to the education sector overtaking China. One possible reason could be the English language which is widely used in India and across the world. The funding for edtech learning companies in India five years ago was mere $0.2 billion. Now it has risen to $3.8 billion in 2021 accounting for 18% of the global investment. Not only that, the world leader in the edtech industry, BYJU’s based out of India has a valuation of a humongous $22 billion. The second largest edtech company is Betterup in the US whose market cap is $4.7 billion. Huge difference, isn’t it?
- Immersive learning: Another big trend in the education technology industry is the wide use of AR and VR. Now learning is not confined only to watching videos, reading books, and analyzing graphics. Companies like Walmart have already started using the power of Augmented and virtual reality to train their employees. These technologies provide a real-life-like experience that proves to be very efficient in training students and employees. With the rise in AI technology, we can see many other companies employing this to train their employees and universities training their students.
All the industries are seeing a complete transformation and education is not the exception. In the coming years, we will see entirely different ways of learning and setting up careers. While we can predict reading paper books to become obsolete, learning concepts through live experience could become a new trend. Moreover, huge investments and the advent of new advanced technologies will fuel new innovations in this industry. Time will tell what new advancement comes in the industry but one thing that can be guaranteed is - Learning will never stop.