Article Image

I’ve just updated the spreadsheet that I’ve created to track which startups have raised money (from which investors) this year. As I was doing so and writing up this blog post, news broke that Social Finance, a student loan refinancing company, has raised $1 billion – that’s not included in these calculations. And it totally screws up what my analysis. Oh well.

(JSON files with the data – for funding, acquisitions, and mergers – are available via GitHub. Previous updates – for Q1 and Q2 – are available via

By my accounting, it appears as though funding has dropped off* (dramatically) in the last few months – in dollar figures and deal count:

  • January: $358 million across 24 deals
  • February: $430 million across 25 deals
  • March : $118 million across 16 deals
  • April: $127 million across 19 deals
  • May: $179 million across 18 deals
  • June: $250 million across 21 deals
  • July: $132 million across 20 deals
  • August: $77 million across 10 deals
  • September: $55 million across 12 deals
  • (Total: $1.7 billion)

* except that whole SoFi round, of course

I don’t want to read too much into the decline. Some of it is my bookkeeping, no doubt – September’s numbers don’t include anything from this week, for example, because I haven't written this week's news roundup. (Sorry. I suck.)

Some of the dip (if there is a dip) could be, as investment analysis firm CB Insights noted earlier this month, that ed-tech startups are taking longer to get to their Series A rounds. Some of it could be the result of the recent slowdown in the Chinese economy (there was heavy investment in Chinese ed-tech startups during the first half of the year).

It’s worth pointing out too that the totals for each month are skewed by a handful of record-setting Series B and beyond rounds. (Like, say, SoFi's billion-dollar round.)

The biggest ed-tech investments so far* this year:

  1. Social Finance $200 million*
  2. $186 million
  3. AltSchool $100 million
  4. 17zuoye $100 million
  5. Udemy $65 million
  6. Yuantiku $60 million
  7. NetDragon Education $52.5 million
  8. Genshuixue $50 million
  9. Coursera $49.5 million
  10. Duolingo $45 million
  11. Orbotix $45 million
  12. LittleBits $44.2 million
  13. Instructure $40 million
  14. BrightBytes $33 million

Some "trends" based on these investments: “online learning” platforms that focus on “jobs skills”; learning-to-code via hardware; the privatization of student loans and elementary school. Beyond these big deals, other trends: tutoring, test prep. Stay innovative, ed-tech.

Blog Logo

Audrey Watters



The Ed-Tech Industry Matrix

A Hack Education Project

Back to Archives