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
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.