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The EdTech Episode #7


Greetings from a wintry Sydney.
 
The last few weeks have provided a window into the state of the EdTech sector – new accelerators being launched, further evolution of the employee training and informal learning markets, and relatively large rounds closing in France, India, China, Saudi Arabia, and Colombia.
 
The pace of change within the EdTech sector remains staggering, but with growth comes increased scrutiny, shining a light on inevitable challenges that companies like
AltSchool face as they try to scale in a fragmented, challenging sector like Education.
 
I think Alex Spiro from Brighteye Ventures said it best - “I hope that reporting like this doesn't give other investors pause for investing in the sector which is ripe with opportunity.”
 
Sadly, this is my last newsletter as the Head of Navitas Ventures - I have made the difficult decision to leave Navitas and my final day is on the 19th of July. I joined Navitas to work with people around the world who are passionate about advancing education and I am proud of what Navitas Ventures has been able to achieve. I would like to thank everyone who I have had the privilege of working with over the past three and a half years and look forward to staying in touch.
 
Before I leave I would give the upcoming
EdTech Asia Summit a quick plug. Mike and the rest of the team at EdTech Asia always put on a good event, and the agenda that is shaping up for Singapore on the 1st-2nd August looks fantastic.

Tim Praill
Head of Navitas Ventures

Company/Institution News
 
Educational Testing Services (ETS) and LearnLaunch have announced a new EdTech accelerator program. The first cohort will address two themes: skills for a new economy and English language learning.

EdX, ASU, and MIT have announced a new online Master's degree in supply chain management - students first pass a micro-master's from MIT and then apply to ASU's online Master's degree.
Fundraising

Byju's, the best-funded EdTech company in India, has raised a US$150M round. The Qatar Investment Authority led. 

BetterUp, a B2B career coaching company,
has raised a US$103M Series C round. Lightspeed Venture Partners led.

The Minerva Project, a reinvented-HE company,
has raised a US$57M Series C round. Bytedance led.

Unacademy, an Indian online exam prep company,
has raised a US$50M Series D round. Steadview Capital, Sequoia India, Nexus Venture Partners, and Blume Ventures took part.

Meishubao, a Chinese online art education platform,
has raised a US$40M Series C1 round. Tencent led.

Ornikar, a French marketplace for driving instructors,
has raised a €35M (US$40M) Series B round from Idinvest and BPI France.

Degreed
has raised US$35M in equity from Owl Ventures, Jump Capital, Signal Peak Ventures, GSV Accelerate, and AllianceBernstein Growth Stage Capital. The company also closed a US$40M venture debt facility with Alliance Bernstein.

Noodle Partners, a fee-for-service OPM, has
raised a US$18M funding round, according to an SEC filing.

SCOIR, a HE admissions platform,
has raised US$10M out of a target US$15M funding round, according to an SEC filing.

Climb Credit, a student lender,
has raised a US$9.8M round. Third Prime and New Markets Venture Partners led.

SV Academy, a tuition-free tech sales bootcamp,
has raised a US$9.5M Series A round. Owl Ventures led.

Noon Academy, a Saudi online test prep company,
has raised a US$8.6M Series A round. Raed Ventures and Saudi Technology Ventures led.

Mentorcliq, a B2B provider of employee mentoring software,
raised US$6.3M. Plymouth Growth Partners led.

Platzi, a Colombian provider of online tech courses,
has raised US$6M. Foundation Capital led.
M&A

Wiley has acquired zyBooks, a digital courseware provider, for US$56M.

Morgan Stanley Capital Partners funds 
have acquired Project Management Academy, a L&D provider, from Leeds Equity Partners.

Manipal Education & Medical Group
has acquired Jigsaw Academy, a data-science bootcamp provider in India.

ACT
has acquired Mawi Learning, a provider of student curriculum and educator PD for social emotional learning.
New Funds

No new EdTech funds have been raised since our last newsletter.
Final Thoughts

First published in 1995, Mary Meeker's Internet Trends Report is a long-running annual compendium of data on the world's internet economy. This year's report highlights the scale reached by leading EdTech companies and the speed with which they have ramped up - for example, Coursera more than doubled its learner numbers to 37 million between 2015 and 2018. While not traditionally considered an EdTech platform, there is also significant demand for educational content on YouTube, where 4.5 billion hours of "how to" videos are viewed annually and where multiple educational channels have 5+ million subscribers.

The report also provides valuable context on broader trends. Over half the world's population now uses the internet - up from 24% just ten years ago - and Asia accounts for more internet users than the rest of the world combined. Demand for technology-enabled services, from e-commerce to financial services, is booming across emerging markets. Freemium models offer a viable alternative to increasingly expensive marketing costs. And cyberattacks are becoming increasingly dangerous.

For the EdTech sector, these trends are both encouraging and cautionary. Around the world, people remain hungry to learn, and access to online education is greater than ever before. At the same time, the sector must learn from the problems that other companies have faced with privacy, security, and abuse.

Find Navitas Ventures online at navitasventures.com.
Copyright © 2019 Navitas, All rights reserved.


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