Ed Tech: K-12

Remote learning is driving an education technology revolution.

Overview

What does a mass migration to online learning look like?

Education Technology (EdTech) refers to the management of teaching and learning materials and processes using technological tools and applications. The terms online learning and e-learning are often interchangeable with EdTech. Online learning involves digital educational tools and the internet, which is where students and teachers interact and course material is distributed. Instruction may happen solely online or include some face-to-face interaction (called “blended” or “hybrid” learning). The focus of this report is the K-12 end-user market.

Online learning is not a new concept. However, online learning experienced a tremendous surge due to school closures following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the advantages of online learning, it also has significant challenges, and the sustained growth of online learning post pandemic is far from guaranteed.

What's driving this industry?

Industry Updates

Wonderschool acquires Moxit
Sep 23
GoStudent completes acquisition of FoxEducation Services
Sep 16
Tailor-ED closes extended seed round
Sep 15
View all updates
Market Sizing

The US EdTech K-12 market could reach USD 14.2–20.2 billion by 2025

Conservative case

USD 14.4 Bn

38% penetration
Base case

USD 16.5 Bn

44% penetration
Expansion case

USD 20.2 Bn

54% penetration
USD billion0510152025202020212022202320242025
View details

COVID-19 IMPACT

  • EdTech content and technology tools surged during the pandemic: 

    • Registered users of Khan Academy increased by 33% year-over-year (YoY) in 2020 to reach 120 million.

    • Since March 2020, Outschool enrollments have increased elevenfold. Enrollment in September 2020 exceeded 300,000 compared to a total of 80,000 in the three years to mid-March 2020.

    • Enrollment at Apex Learning doubled in March 2020.

    • Between March and mid-June 2020, around 50,000 new Moodle sites were registered by schools, universities and educational institutions.

    • Google searches for “online learning” increased globally by more than 400% YoY as of November 2020.

  • Online learning platforms offered free access to their services in response to the crisis

    • Outschool offered USD 50 in free classes for families affected by the pandemic

  • Increasingly more US school districts partnered with online learning platform providers to gain access to virtual classrooms, digital resources, and communications solutions

    • Between January 2019 and June 2020, there was a more than 50% increase in the number of institutions that transitioned to the SaaS deployment of Blackboard Learn (Blackboard’s learning management system) to scale their online learning programs and accelerate their online learning strategies in response to the pandemic

    • In May 2020, Stride Inc. launched a consulting service (‘K12 Learning Solutions’) to help school districts implement an online or blended learning program

    • In June 2020, Connections Academy introduced five new services for school districts, teachers and education professionals

Market Mapping

The EdTech market for K-12 students can be categorized broadly into online school operators, content providers, and technology providers. The industry is dominated by incumbents that have grown both organically and via acquisition as well as large technology companies that have expanded into the education space.

Incumbents
Growth
Early
Seed
Pre seed
Online school operators
?
Curricular learning
?
Extra-curricular learning; college and career readiness
?
Language learning and literacy tools
?
Tutoring support
?
Early childhood; special ed; SEL
?
Delivery and analytics platforms; admin and services
?
Teacher resources; testing and assessment tools
?
Communication and networking; reference and marketplace
?
PresenceLearning
PresenceLearning
PresenceLearning
PresenceLearning
PresenceLearning
PresenceLearning
PresenceLearning
PresenceLearning
PresenceLearning
Stride
Elevate K-12
Inspired Education
Pansophic Learning
Valenture Institute
Rocketship Education
Sora Schools
Prisma
Pearson
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
McGraw Hill Education
Cengage
Discovery Education
PressReader
Edmentum
Kendall Hunt Publishing Company
Savvas Learning Company
Capstone Publishing
Amazon
Roblox
Age of Learning
DreamBox Learning
Prodigy Education
Labster
Cuemath
Lingokids
Code.org
Nearpod
SplashLearn
Khan Academy
Encantos
Kide Science
Developing Experts
Shape Robotics
Photon Entertainment
Illuminate Education
IXL Learning
Sandbox & Co.
Cambium Learning Group
Excel Education Systems
Weld North Education
Stash
PlayShifu
MEL Science
Numerade
KnowledgeHook
Lido Learning
StudySmarter
Legends of Learning
Practically
101edu
Emile Learning
3DBear
Skriware
Tailor-ED
Generation Genius
Bamboo Learning
Tactus Group
KiraKira3D
LocoRobo
Make Music Count
The Math Door
HyperionDev
Digital Adventures
LabXchange
Camp K-12
PowerZ
CodeCombat
Smashcut
DigitalEd
Codelicious
Inspirit
ChalkTalk
Unruly Studios
Prompt
Codingal
99math
Digital Dream Labs
Erase All Kittens
DcodeAI
Tappity
ScienceVR
Third Room
DroneBlocks
Skill Struck
EdCraft
Noggin
Outschool
Americademy
Story2
Yousician
TRANSFR
SchooLinks
DIY
Electus Global Education
College Guidance Network
Beanstalk
Digital Adventures
Flying Start
Horizon Education
Class 101
PowerZ
Synthesis School
Hellosaurus
Upkey
The Skills
Age of Learning
Duolingo
DreamBox Learning
Newsela
Lingokids
Preply
AmplioSpeech
Encantos
Lingumi
Kuato Studios
Xeropan
ReadWorks
IXL Learning
Weld North Education
Lingoda
Novakid
Vooks
Ringle
ELSA
Amira Learning
Mrs Wordsmith
Lexplore
Tandem
AllRight
Ponddy Education
Fluent Forever
Novel Effect
BookNook
Hallo
Bamboo Learning
Speak Agent
Quality Online Education Group
Beable Education
BlaBla
Zoobean
MyBuddy.ai
StoryWorld International
Astrid
Pressto
Byju's
Brainly
Nerdy
Yup.com
Gooroo
Saga Education
GoStudent
Paper
Photomath
Juni Learning
Tutorful
Tutorful
Tandem
Fiveable
GoPeer
Pearl
toot
Learnabi
Noodle Pros
Wize
Pillarz
Tutored by Teachers
Pantheon
MindMatch
BEGiN
PresenceLearning
Lingumi
Higher Ground Education
RoboKind
Lexplore
ROYBI
IntellectoKids
HEI Schools
Stop, Breathe & Think, PBC
TeleTeachers
Centervention
LiftEd
Navigate360
Cognitive ToyBox
Botvin LifeSkills Training
Rhithm
Intellispark
Hellosaurus
Bina
Vivensity
EarlyBird Education
Bundle
The Purpose Project
EmpowerU
GiveThx
Kiri
Savvas Learning Company
Google
Microsoft
Apple
Cisco
LINQ
Trox + Tierney
SMART Technologies
Education Networks of America
Verizon
GoGuardian
D2L Corporation
SchoolMint
Blackboard
Instructure
Brightwheel
Vanco Payment Solutions
Renaissance
Cypher Learning
PowerSchool
Securly
Seesaw
Moodle
Pear Deck
Clark
Abre.io
CENTEGIX
Lightspeed Systems
Script
Panorama Education
Higher Ground Education
Wonderschool
Swing Education
CENTURY Tech
Amesite
Zen Educate
Abl Schools
Showbie
SoapBox Labs
AllHere Education
Skooler
Pearl
The Graide Network
Learning Explorer
CottageClass
Incident IQ
Cheqdin Childcare Software
FocalPoint Education
Community Brands
Merlyn Mind
EveryDay Labs
Intellispark
Cyber.org
Class Technologies
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Apple
Infosys
Kahoot!
GoGuardian
Instructure
Teachers Pay Teachers
Quizlet
Area9 Lyceum
Renaissance
PowerSchool
Teacherly
Illuminate Education
Cambium Learning Group
Riiid
Formative
Kiddom
Classcraft
Accelerate Learning
Guide Education
Dugga
Bakpax
CanopyLAB
Kinteract
QPi Education
CenterPoint Education Solutions
Gimkit
MobileMind
Quizizz
TeachFX
Noodle Factory
EarlyBird Education
Amazon
ClassDojo
SchoolStatus
Become Unmistakable
Owl Labs
Winnie
No Isolation
Tutorful
Tutorful
ClassTag
LearnPlatform
Bloomz
klassroom
TalkingPoints
Selected
Classpert
Family Engagement Lab
Global Grid for Learning
InSpace Proximity
ParentSquare
Noodle Markets
Convertsation
Colaburate

The Disruptors

The K-12 online learning space is inundated with players offering a variety of platforms, products, and solutions. Among these are applications with unique offerings or unusual ways of delivering solutions, some of which are featured below.

In the online school operator space, Stride, Inc. is one of the top two education management organizations (EMOs) in the US alongside incumbent Pearson. Content-based product and technology-based product providers usually develop their own products and are varied in terms of what they offer. They are also diverse in terms of funding with some being non-profit based, being funded by government agencies, universities or foundations. Some of the key disruptors we have identified include Kahoot!, Duolingo, Age of Learning, DreamBox Learning, Blackboard, Canvas, Moodle, and Brightspace.

Online school operators

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Stride
20
Elevate K-12
19
Rocketship Education
3
Inspired Education
Unknown
Pansophic Learning
Unknown
Watchlist
?
Valenture Institute
Sora Schools
Prisma

Curricular learning

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Roblox
Public - Market cap Unknown
Age of Learning
532
Stash
427
DreamBox Learning
176
Prodigy Education
125
Labster
104
Cuemath
64
Lingokids
62
Code.org
58
Nearpod
31
PlayShifu
28
MEL Science
27
Numerade
26
SplashLearn
25
KnowledgeHook
23
Lido Learning
20
StudySmarter
17
Khan Academy
16
Camp K-12
16
Legends of Learning
13
PowerZ
12
CodeCombat
9
Smashcut
7
DigitalEd
7
Codelicious
5
Codingal
2
Tactus Group
0
Illuminate Education
Unknown
IXL Learning
Unknown
The Math Door
Unknown
Sandbox & Co.
Unknown
Cambium Learning Group
Unknown
Excel Education Systems
Unknown
LabXchange
Unknown
Weld North Education
Unknown
Watchlist
?
Practically
Encantos
101edu
Emile Learning
3DBear
Skriware
Inspirit
ChalkTalk
Kide Science
Unruly Studios
Developing Experts
Prompt
Shape Robotics
Tailor-ED
Photon Entertainment
Generation Genius
99math
Bamboo Learning
Digital Dream Labs
Erase All Kittens
EdCraft
DcodeAI
KiraKira3D
LocoRobo
Tappity
Make Music Count
HyperionDev
Digital Adventures
ScienceVR
Third Room
DroneBlocks
Skill Struck

Extra-curricular learning; college and career readiness

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Outschool
130
Class 101
37
Yousician
33
TRANSFR
12
PowerZ
12
Synthesis School
5
Horizon Education
Unknown
Watchlist
?
SchooLinks
DIY
Americademy
Hellosaurus
Upkey
Story2
Electus Global Education
College Guidance Network
Beanstalk
Digital Adventures
The Skills
Flying Start

Language learning and literacy tools

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Duolingo
Public - Market cap Unknown
Age of Learning
532
DreamBox Learning
176
Newsela
172
Lingoda
83
Lingokids
62
Preply
51
Novakid
42
Vooks
39
AmplioSpeech
37
Ringle
36
ELSA
25
Amira Learning
20
Beable Education
15
Mrs Wordsmith
15
Zoobean
3
ReadWorks
0
IXL Learning
Unknown
Weld North Education
Unknown
Quality Online Education Group
Unknown
Watchlist
?
Lexplore
Encantos
Tandem
Lingumi
AllRight
Kuato Studios
Ponddy Education
Astrid
Fluent Forever
Xeropan
Novel Effect
BookNook
BlaBla
Hallo
MyBuddy.ai
Bamboo Learning
Speak Agent
StoryWorld International
Pressto

Tutoring support

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Byju's
2894
GoStudent
345
Brainly
149
Paper
120
Nerdy
107
Photomath
29
Yup.com
24
Juni Learning
11
Tutorful
10
Watchlist
?
Tandem
Fiveable
Gooroo
Wize
GoPeer
Pearl
toot
Pantheon
Pillarz
Learnabi
Tutored by Teachers
Saga Education
MindMatch
Noodle Pros

Early childhood; special ed; SEL

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
PresenceLearning
65
Higher Ground Education
40
RoboKind
20
Vivensity
Unknown
Botvin LifeSkills Training
Unknown
Watchlist
?
BEGiN
Lexplore
Lingumi
Rhithm
ROYBI
IntellectoKids
Intellispark
HEI Schools
Hellosaurus
Stop, Breathe & Think, PBC
TeleTeachers
Bina
Centervention
LiftEd
Navigate360
Cognitive ToyBox
EarlyBird Education
GiveThx
Bundle
Kiri
The Purpose Project
EmpowerU

Delivery and analytics platforms; admin and services

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
D2L Corporation
169
SchoolMint
150
Blackboard
122
Panorama Education
93
Instructure
89
Brightwheel
89
Vanco Payment Solutions
80
Higher Ground Education
40
Renaissance
40
Cypher Learning
40
PowerSchool
32
Merlyn Mind
29
Wonderschool
24
Securly
23
Swing Education
23
CENTURY Tech
19
Class Technologies
16
Amesite
13
Seesaw
13
Zen Educate
12
Abl Schools
12
Showbie
12
SoapBox Labs
12
EveryDay Labs
8
Moodle
7
Lightspeed Systems
Unknown
Cheqdin Childcare Software
Unknown
Cyber.org
Unknown
Community Brands
Unknown
Watchlist
?
GoGuardian
AllHere Education
Pear Deck
Intellispark
Clark
Abre.io
Skooler
Pearl
The Graide Network
Learning Explorer
CottageClass
CENTEGIX
Incident IQ
Script
FocalPoint Education

Teacher resources; testing and assessment tools

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Kahoot!
364
Riiid
248
Instructure
89
Formative
77
Teachers Pay Teachers
64
Quizlet
62
Kiddom
57
Area9 Lyceum
53
Quizizz
47
Renaissance
40
PowerSchool
32
Classcraft
15
Accelerate Learning
10
Noodle Factory
1
Illuminate Education
Unknown
Cambium Learning Group
Unknown
CenterPoint Education Solutions
Unknown
Watchlist
?
GoGuardian
Guide Education
Dugga
Bakpax
CanopyLAB
TeachFX
Teacherly
Kinteract
EarlyBird Education
QPi Education
Gimkit
MobileMind

Communication and networking; reference and marketplace

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
ClassDojo
66
Owl Labs
22
Winnie
16
No Isolation
11
Tutorful
10
ParentSquare
4
Family Engagement Lab
Unknown
Watchlist
?
ClassTag
LearnPlatform
InSpace Proximity
Bloomz
SchoolStatus
klassroom
Noodle Markets
TalkingPoints
Selected
Classpert
Become Unmistakable
Convertsation
Colaburate
Global Grid for Learning

Stride

Founded in 2000 as K12 Inc. and headquartered in Virginia, Stride Inc. is an EMO that provides K-12 online education. It offers its online curriculum at three levels: to states and districts as a homeschooling alternative to brick-and-mortar schools; to school districts as a supplement to classroom teaching; and to parents individually as a private, online, homeschooling alternative. The company also operates three tuition-based online private schools. During the 2018-2019 school year, Stride Inc. provided its managed public school programs to 75 schools across the US.

Traditionally focusing on K-12 educational programs, Stride Inc. has also moved into the adult (professional skills) education space providing career readiness education. This is accomplished through its Destinations Career Academies and through Galvanize, a company that develops capabilities for individuals and corporations in technical fields such as software engineering and data science, which it acquired in January 2020. The company’s portfolio also includes Tallo, an app that connects students and professionals with scholarships, post-secondary institutions, and companies, and Nepris, a cloud-based platform that allows educators to connect with industry professionals willing to share their skills and knowledge with students.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the company launched K12 Learning Solutions in May 2020, a consulting service for school districts, and in August 2020 it partnered with College Nannies + Sitters + Tutors to train their staff to serve as effective Learning Coaches as schools reopen at home and online. In June 2020 the company partnered with a public charity, Virginia Ready Initiative, to help those that have lost their jobs due to the pandemic gain the required skills for in-demand jobs.

In October 2020, Stride Inc. expanded its partnership with 7 Mindsets, a social emotional learning (SEL) solutions provider, to provide SEL courses and curriculums, leadership training, and teacher professional development for all Stride Inc. schools over the next three years.

In November 2020, the company announced that it will undergo a corporate name change to Stride, Inc. effective December 16, 2020. The change reflects the company’s continued expansion beyond the K-12 market into the adult lifelong learning market. The company also expanded its portfolio of lifelong learning offerings through the acquisitions of Tech Elevator and MedCerts. The acquisition of Tech Elevator complements the IT-focused curriculum provided by Galvanize, while the acquisition of MedCerts marks the company’s entry into the healthcare education market.

In November 2020, a lawsuit, Lee v. K12 Inc. et al., was filed against the company and some of its executives in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The allegations filed claimed that Stride Inc. issued false and misleading statements in its efforts to meet the increased, Covid-19 pandemic-driven demand for virtual and blended learning. Such statements were concerning the company’s technological capabilities, infrastructure, expertise, and data security strength. The suit was dismissed by a federal judge in September 2021, on the basis that the shareholders had failed to adequately allege that the company had violated securities laws or acted intentionally. In January 2021, Stride partnered with 21K School, India’s first online school, to offer its own curriculums as well as those of one of its accredited partners, The Keystone School, beginning with the 2021-2022 academic year.

In February 2021, the company selected the cohort of its multi-year We Stand Together scholarship. With a USD 10 million investment, the scholarships are part of a series of initiatives to support racial and socioeconomic inclusion in education and provide more education options to underserved communities. Scholarship recipients will receive tuition-free, full-time enrollment at Stride’s K12 Private Academy or higher education scholarships. Further, in April 2021, the company partnered with the National Association of Black Male Educators (NABME) to increase the number of Black teachers it employs and to equip current teachers with tools to facilitate inclusive classrooms online and physically.

In March 2021, Stride partnered with MetaMetrics, an educational measurement and research organization, to provide Stride teachers with premium membership access to MetaMetrics’ Lexile & Quantile Hubs containing tools and resources to provide personalized instruction.

In May 2021, Pearson, a global education company, stated that it is “not preparing a bid” for Stride, in response to reports that stated the contrary.

In August 2021, Stride released its earnings results for year ending June 30 2021 reporting a revenue of USD 1.54 billion (up 54% YoY) driven by an increase in demand across all Stride products, and a gross profit of USD 534.9 million translating to a gross margin of 34.8%.

Segment:
Online school operators
Total funding:
USD 20.0 million
Disruptor Funding History

Online school operators:

Stride
Elevate K-12
Rocketship Education
Valenture Institute
Sora Schools

Curricular learning:

Roblox
Age of Learning
Stash
DreamBox Learning
Prodigy Education
Labster
Cuemath
Lingokids
Code.org
Nearpod
PlayShifu
MEL Science
Numerade
SplashLearn
KnowledgeHook
Lido Learning
StudySmarter
Khan Academy
Camp K-12
Legends of Learning
PowerZ
CodeCombat
Smashcut
DigitalEd
Codelicious
Codingal
Tactus Group
Practically
Encantos
101edu
Emile Learning
3DBear
Skriware
Inspirit
ChalkTalk
Kide Science
Unruly Studios
Developing Experts
Prompt
Shape Robotics
Tailor-ED
Photon Entertainment
Generation Genius
99math
Bamboo Learning
Digital Dream Labs
Erase All Kittens
EdCraft
DcodeAI
KiraKira3D
LocoRobo
Tappity
Make Music Count

Extra-curricular learning; college and career readiness:

The Incumbents

Developing in-house technology seems the norm

Online school operators are mostly for-profit corporations that run state-funded, tuition-free schools as an alternative to traditional public schools. The main players in this space have built their own platforms. Pearson is one of the top two education management organizations (EMOs) in the US.

Content-based product providers offer a variety of curricular and extracurricular classes to enhance students’ traditional education. They can be further categorized into curriculum-based learning, language or technology learning, test preparation and tutoring, early childhood or special education, and so on. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), McGraw-Hill Education, and Cengage are top providers in this space reaching a large share of US school districts, teachers, and students. As established providers of content and learning solutions for students, instructors, professionals, and institutions, they have extended their offerings to include digital platforms.

Technology-based product providers can be further categorized into learning management systems (LMS), testing and assessment, operational, reference and search, and networking. Incumbents in this space include global technology companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon who have introduced various digital solutions for the education sector.

Own technology

Acquisition

Partnership

Pearson
check
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
check
check
check
McGraw Hill Education
check
check
check
Cengage
check
Discovery Education
check
check
check
PressReader
check
check
Noggin
check
Edmentum
check
check
Kendall Hunt Publishing Company
check
check
check
Savvas Learning Company
check
check
Capstone Publishing
Google
check
Microsoft
check
Amazon
check
check
Apple
check
Cisco
check
LINQ
check
check
Trox + Tierney
check
check
SMART Technologies
check
Education Networks of America
check
check
check
Verizon
check
check
check
Infosys
Pearson

Pearson is a global education company delivering learning solutions for early childhood through high school. The company’s interactive tools and content range from digital and print core curriculums, to supplemental content, intervention programs, and professional services. Pearson delivers K-12 online education to schools and students in the US and internationally. Solutions include Connections Academy, an online school program delivered via full-time, online public schools, while also operating a private online school. The first Connections Academy online school was established in 2001. Connections Academy joined the Pearson Group in 2011. As of February 2021, more than 100,000 students across 29 states were enrolled in Connections Academy’s virtual public schools.

In February 2019, the company sold its US K-12 courseware business to Nexus Capital Management, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, which was thereafter rebranded as Savvas Learning Co. In January 2020, Pearson’s business was restructured into four reporting segments: Global Online Learning (comprises Virtual Schools and Online Program Management [OPM]); Global Assessment (Pearson VUE and US Student Assessment); International (Assessment, English, Schools and Higher Education); and North American Courseware (US Higher Education Courseware is key business with Canadian Courseware).

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Pearson launched new services for school districts in June 2020 to help them transition to online learning. In August 2020, the company raised USD 459 million through a social bond; the funds will support Connections Academy, BTEC (a service that provides vocational qualifications), and the GED Testing Service (a partnership with the American Council on Education to help students who haven’t completed high school earn an equivalency certificate).

In February 2021, Pearson added the Coastal Connections Academy in Florida and the Oregon Connections Academy to its network. These will deliver the Connections Academy virtual school program during the 2021-22 school year to K-12 students in both states. Later that month, the company acquired Spotlight Education, a provider of video reporting technology.

In May 2021, the company stated that it is “not preparing a bid” for Stride, Inc., an online education company, in response to a report that stated the contrary. Pearson agreed to pay a fine of USD 1 million in August 2021 for misleading investors about a data breach that occurred in 2018 and resulted in the theft of millions of student records. 

Notable Investors

Funding data are powered by Crunchbase

By using this site, you agree to allow SPEEDA Edge and our partners to use cookies for analytics and personalization. Visit our privacy policy for more information about our data collection practices.