Owl Ventures Latest Fund Shows There’s A Lot More To Expect From EdTech
Education technology is one of the hottest spaces these days. Startups Startups shaping the lives in students in grades prek-12 and in college, are seeing huge growth. Companies focused in learning analytics, STEAM, STEM, instruction, robotics, AR/VR and more are growing in droves. With that comes the need for funding.
Owl Ventures is the leading investor in education technology. On Thursday they announced that they had closed
$185 Million for its second fund. The capital will be used to lead investments in education technology startups that are harnessing the new wave of entrepreneurship and innovation across the education spectrum including early childhood, K-12, higher education and career mobility/professional learning.
“The explosion in access to technology, data and content in the education sector is historic,” said Tory Patterson, Managing Director at Owl Ventures. “With connected devices in the hands of students and teachers, nearly ubiquitous Internet connectivity in schools and a global workforce powered by technology-driven productivity, education in every corner is being transformed by technology.”
The market for education technology (EdTech) is rapidly growing and maturing in the United States:
- Broadband adoption in school districts jumped from 30% in 2013 to 94% in 2017. (source: https://www.educationsuperhigh
- Nearly 60% of U.S. Schools had purchased connected-devices (laptops, tablets) for student use in 2016. (source: FutureSource Consulting)
The global education market estimated to be nearly $7 trillion and global adoption of EdTech is also on the rise. (source: National Center for Education Statistics)
“The education market is undergoing a massive digital revolution that is impacting the 1.5 billion learners worldwide” said Tom Costin, Partner at Owl Ventures. “This newfound technology infrastructure and digital adoption of EdTech platforms is now allowing companies to rapidly scale and build products that are being used by millions of students in countries around the world.”
With its dedicated focus on EdTech, the Owl Ventures team has deep domain expertise that allows the firm to cultivate an elite and focused network of entrepreneurs, investors and strategic partners that are driven to improve education tools, technology, outcomes and share best practices and learnings across the portfolio. With its second fund, Owl Ventures built a global LP base across the U.S., Asia, Europe, Middle East and South America consisting of prestigious endowments, foundations, family offices, strategic education partners and a sovereign wealth fund. This valuable global LP base and network will help the firm and its companies across numerous functions including distribution, partnerships and deal sourcing.
The firm has been a major investor in many of the fastest growing companies in the EdTech market including Accelerate Learning, DreamBox Learning, Newsela, RaiseMe and Quizlet.
Owl Ventures has their finger on the pulse of the edtech sector. As we close out 2017 we asked Patel about the most exciting things happening in education technology this year.
“From early learning to career mobility, education technology companies in 2017 are scaling faster than ever and the sector is attracting talented entrepreneurs. We expect the trend to continue in 2018, especially as more companies start to serve students on an international scale and efficacy starts to become a core component for purchasing decisions.” Patel told nibletz.com
We’ve covered many of their portfolio companies including Newsela and Piper in speaking with both Newsela CEO Matthew Gross and Piper co-founder Joel Sadler on separate occasions they both spoke highly of the commitment Owl Ventures has to education and the entrepreneurs leading the charge in the edtech space. We were also told how accessible Owl Ventures is to edtech companies. We asked Patel what the best way for an edtech startup would be to get in front of Owl Ventures.
“Our firm believes in being accessible to all entrepreneurs. We think great ideas can come from anyone and great companies get started anywhere. We put our firstname.lastname@example.org email address directly on the website, and we look at every email that comes to that inbox.”
With funds like Owl Ventures we’re definitely looking at more innovation in the edtech space for years to come.