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Sunday, December 29, 2013

EdTech VC $

Venture capital investment in education technology for the preK-12 market hit  $452 million this year, up 6 percent from 2012, according to a new analysis by the NewSchools Venture Fund.

Among the hottest areas for investment: Big data, computer science and language acquisition.
Jennifer Carolan, managing director of the NewSchools Seed Fund, notes in the analysis that while “data-driven instruction” has been a mantra in K-12 for years, “the technology tools to extract, analyze and make use of that data have been crude and technically unsophisticated.” She finds promise in the big investment this year in data analysis tools: Venture money for the sector totaled $34 million in 2013, up from just $5 million last year.

Carolan also notices a surge in interest in tools that teach students computer science, including coding. That sector was almost invisible last year, but brought in $23 million in investment this year. “We see this trend continuing as more schools integrate computer science into the school curriculum and states recognize computer science as a credit-bearing course,” she wrote.

In other notable developments, tutoring and test prep companies snagged $29 million in capital. Gaming platforms attracted $40 million. Language learning software beat them both out, attracting a whopping $90 million in investment.

Many of the investments were in “seed rounds” for start-up companies.

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