Here’s How Edtech Sector Evolved in Pandemic

Increased capital infusion and disposable income thrusted the edtech niche and enticed ignoramus investments
  • BY Jaspreet Kaur

    Feature Writer, BusinessEx

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  • Oct 19,2020
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  • 14 Mins Read

The ever-changing edtech industry is immensely impacted by the pandemic. Across the world, edtech companies are dominated on the basis of some key factors such as VC Funding,  acquisitions, the number of edtech companies’ headquarters, and unicorns, etc. According to NASSCOM's report, global VC funding in education (2014-18) has witnessed over four times increase from $1.8 billion in 2014 to $8.2 billion in 2018. More than 60 per cent went to China, followed by USA ( nearly 20 per cent), India ( approximately 10 per cent) and Europe (8 per cent).

How Edtech Companies Transformed in Indian Landscape

The edtech companies were introduced in 2004 in the business landscape. After some years, various e-learning players come into existence, thus, providing online education. In 2015, the edtech industry saw the emergence of more than 1,000 startups concertedly raising more than $125 million, according to NASSCOM's report. 

Increased capital infusion and disposable income thrusted the edtech niche and enticed ignoramus investments. Byju's turned into a unicorn in 2018, thus, topping amid 19 edtech companies across the globe. 

The Indian edtech industry consists of companies that are engaged in K12 or college, test preparation, upskilling and reskilling space. The business landscape is not very distant from the global landscape but there are a few areas, which are unique to the Indian education system. 

According to the cited report, the Indian edtech is highly focused towards K12 or college and test preparation in terms of funding ( more than 70 per cent). The edtech firms creating solutions to cater to rural population like iDream Education delivering educational tablets and tablets for digital learning in schools  The recently announced National Education Policy 2020 is expected to boost the quality and scope of education in the country, giving an impetus for further growth to the edtech sector India’s Edtech story, though growing at a rapid pace in the past few years has got a major thrust through COVID-19.

Surge in Edtech Sector During COVID-19

Bangalore and Delhi NCR have ranked 7th and 14th respectively amid global cities with the highest Edtech index scores, as per the cited report. The success of Bangalore and Delhi NCR indicates the conducive environment provided by the Indian government for the sector's development and growth. The pandemic has also supported the edtech sector. Although, the pandemic has created havoc amid businesses across the world, the edtech sector has not borne any negative impact but instead have actually benefited from it. 

There was a sudden rise in some keywords-- "Online Course", "MOOC", "Online Study" and "Online Teaching" during the lockdown period when academic institutions were shut and employees worked remotely.

NASSCOM's report states, funding, a key factor contributing to the edtech growth, also saw a substantial shift during COVID. Nearly five times growth in funding was observed in H1 2020 compared to H1 2019. With $1.6 billion funding from Jan- Sept 2020, it is already two times the total funding in 2019. Major portion of this funding is accounted by Byju’s and Unacademy which collectively raised over $300 million. Many new start-ups have also raised funding during this period like iNurture, Masai, Campk12, Pedagogy, Lido and more. The number of funding deals have also increased by over 2.5 times, from approximately 20 in H1 2019 to over 40 in H1 2020.

According to a Linkedin's survey, almost 63 per cent of professionals have increased their time spent on online learning to enhance their skills or reskill themselves to stay relevant. While BARC India and Nielsen report states that there has been 30 per cent increase in time spent on education apps which actually lead to over 120 per cent growth in digital ad spends by edtech apps. 88 per cent rise in the number of people downloading edtech apps has also been recorded. 

According  to NASSCOM Start-up Pulse Survey Q1 2020, 54 per cent start-ups were seeking opportunities to pivot. The edtech is one of the key sectors that start-ups are looking to expand to either by building new solutions to cater to the huge requirement or by partnering with other stakeholders to provide services.

Thus, the edtech sector served a safe, flourishing sector that remained unaffected by the pandemic. As a result, failed businesses are looking at this sector and planning their pivoting process accordingly. 

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