After years in the backwaters of venture capital, edtech had a booming 2020. Not only did its products become must-haves after schools around the globe went remote, but investors also poured capital into leading projects. There was even some exit activity, with well-known edtech players like Coursera going public earlier this year.
But despite a rush of private capital — which has continued into this year, as we’ll demonstrate — edtech stocks have taken a hammering in recent weeks. So while venture capitalists and other startup investors are pumping more capital into the space in hopes of future outsize returns, the stock market is signaling that things might be heading in the other direction.
Who’s right? One investor that The Exchange spoke to noted that market turbulence is just that, and that he’s tuning into activity but not yet changing his investment strategy. At the same time, the recent volatility is worth tracking in case it’s a preview of edtech’s slowdown.
The Exchange explores startups, markets and money.
Let’s look at the changing value of edtech stocks in recent months, parse some preliminary data via PitchBook that provides a good feel for the directional momentum of edtech venture capital, and try to see if there’s irrational exuberance among private investors.
You could argue that it’s public investors who are suffering from irrational pessimism and that private-market investors have the right of it. But since public markets price private markets, we tend to listen to them. Let’s go!
We’re sure that you want to get into the private-market data, so we’ll be brief in describing the public-market carnage. What follows is a digest of edtech stocks and their declines from recent highs:
- Compared to its 52-week high, Chegg stock has lost over a third of its value.
- After reaching $62.53 per share in April, Coursera has shed about half of its value and is trading close to its $33 IPO price.
- 2U closed at $33.92 per share yesterday, its shares also losing half of their value compared to their 52-week high.
- Staying on that theme, Stride (K12) closed at $26.77 per share yesterday, which is about half of its 52-week high.
ConveGenius AI, India’s Leading EdTech Startup Raises $5M USD (Pre Series A) for Mass Market Direct-to-Consumer Expansion to Serve 100M Households
ConveGenius has raised $5M USD in Venture Capital funding to grow its conversational AI platform in India and South-East Asian markets.
LONDON, SAN FRANCISCO, and SINGAPORE, Oct. 19, 2021 /CNW/ — ConveGenius has raised $5M USD in Venture Capital funding to grow its conversational AI platform in India and South-East Asian markets.
The company first launched its conversational AI platform in 2020 with a focus on providing a tailor-fit EdTech solution that offers an adaptive Whatsapp-based learning system for K-12 students from lower tier cities, who has been deeply affected by school closures amidst the COVID pandemic. Within a year of launch, Its EdTech solution has blitzscaled to 14 million monthly active users with 35 million daily conversations, catering to 10 different languages and continues to grow at a rapid pace.
With this round of funding, Convegenius.AI aims to expand its products on Whatsapp ecosystem and other Conversational AI based channels beyond EdTech, to service more customers across different verticals and allow developers to launch their solutions on the platform. ConveGenius AI will also continue to strengthen its AI / ML capabilities and is currently in advanced talks with multiple businesses to deliver sector-focused solutions to over 500 million users currently active on different chat platforms.
This funding round was led by new investors, BAce Capital, Heritas Capital and 3Lines Venture Capital as well as existing investor, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation.
Quotes by Stakeholders:
“As schools were closed over prolonged periods during the pandemic, we believe that ConveGenius is well placed to tackle the learning crisis and gaps that have severely impacted students across India and in other emerging markets in the region. We are pleased to support ConveGenius in their mission to further scale their impactful solutions, providing greater access to affordable quality education for all,” said Ms. Janet Chia, Head of Venture Capital at Heritas Capital.
“ConveGenius has focused on the broad and hitherto unserved market of 235M students who belong to the first-generation mobile internet users with households using smartphones and mobile devices for the first time. Its focus on mass market users and democratisation of personalised content distribution by building conversational user experiences for mobile devices has created a niche segment for innovation and value creation,” said Pallab Chatterjee, Chairman 3 Lines VC Rocket Fund.
“The Dell Foundation first invested in the company in 2016 and we believe this is the right time to take the product to millions of children by launching the direct-to-consumer (D2C) version,” says Prachi Windlass (Director, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation).
“We are excited to execute on our mission to take our value proposition to one billion users globally and make knowledge and content accessible for all in a one-click experience,” said Jairaj Bhattacharya, the CEO of ConveGenius.
View original content:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/convegenius-ai-indias-leading-edtech-startup-raises-5m-usd-pre-series-a-for-mass-market-direct-to-consumer-expansion-to-serve-100m-households-301402964.html
SOURCE ConveGenius International
View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/October2021/19/c2623.html
Frontlines Media- The Ed-Tech Company Fetching Jobs To Thousands Of Graduates – News About School
New Delhi, Oct 14: Technology is becoming an increasingly important part of education beyond classroom engagement tools. The use of ed-tech extends far beyond reading books and has become increasingly important for education. Though technology can never replace great teachers, the right teacher can transform the next generation with incredible results through technology. Amidst all these advances and innovations, Frontlines media, a social media active page, is doing wonders in fetching jobs to thousands of young graduates.
The Founder’s inspiring story –
The idea of commencing such an intriguing and valuable project first came into the mind of Krishna, who is an electronic engineer by profession. Krishna left his job in Australia and came back to India to start his own company, an ed-tech business proving to be a successful venture. The company has fetched 400+ placements opportunities in the last eight months.
In one of his talks with the media, he has made a point to mention his friend Upendra, who stood beside him when needed and is also one of the central pillars of Frontlines Edu-tech. Upendra has seven years of great experience in the IT industry that has helped the company to understand the demand of the technological world.
The two friends studied the current scenario of the rural students of India who remain jobless after the completion of their graduation. Due to the high population and less technical skills, rural youths find it very difficult to get a job. On the flip side, the companies in India are looking for graduates with good technical skills. That is how the idea of Frontlines media came into existence. The two friends came up together to build a platform that provides varieties of opportunities to learn about technology and helps to increase employment opportunities.
Krishna says, “All the acknowledgement we are receiving now couldn’t have been possible without our students who trusted us with their career and are successfully securing jobs.”
The company offers free career guidance sessions with industry experts, train students with the best quality trainers at an affordable price and help them in fetching jobs. Additionally, it provides various job notification and acknowledges students about emerging trending and cutting edge technologies. The mentors in Frontlines Edu Tech are well trained and qualified from IITs, IIMs, Top MNCs, DRDO, and other premier organizations. In addition to the above description, the company offers opportunities such as basic aptitude and reasoning to all fundamental programming languages in addition to some cutting edge technologies like cyber security, blockchain, etc.
The ed-tech company has trained around 1200+ students, Fetched 750+ jobs, and mentored around 4000+ students. The majority of these students come from rural areas.
Krishna, the head of Frontlines media, has dedicated the company’s success to the efficient core team members- Gouthami, Ranjith, Harish, Nanda Kishore, Shiva, Vishnu, and Vamshi.
The description of the core team members are as follows-
Krishna – the CEO of Frontlines media, left his job and returned to India from Australia to start his dream company. He is a qualified electronics engineer.
Upendra – the Co-founder of the company, having seven years of experience in the IT industry.
Gouthami – One who gave the idea of starting an Edu-Tech company and the support team member who always drives frontlines ed-tech with innovative ideas.
Ranjith – Having grown up in a rural area, he now helps other students crack interviews and shape their careers.
Harish & Raghava – The members of the support team who lead the student grievance cell.
Swathi – Works in the administration department.
Sai Kumar – Works as a cyber security expert.
The mentor team consists of Nanda Kishore, Shiva, Vishnu, Vamshi, and Sai Kiran.
Ed-tech- the fastest growing industry –
Over the past few years, ed-tech sectors have experienced rapid growth, and the pandemic has accelerated their growth. Surprisingly, in India, the ed-tech industry is the top priority in the list of fundings just after the services provided by the financial institutions. Frontlines media started with only three students in a batch and currently running with 250+ students every month. The success and growth achieved by the company have gained the attention of many youths in the country. In the coming years, it is expected to reach extreme heights and show positive growth. They are looking forward to mentor more students towards a successful career by providing them with the best of their ability.
ClassTag’s CEO migrates to Miami, lured by vibrant tech ecosystem and growing EdTech scene
South Florida is now home to another rising star in the EdTech space. Last month, Vlada Lotkina, co-founder and CEO of ClassTag, made the move to Miami.The startup, which has reportedly received $8.9 million in venture capital funding, has developed a platform that facilitates communications between parents and teachers.
‘As a startup founder, it’s so important to be in an environment that is growing, expanding, and has a hunger for success and growth’ – Vlada Lotkina, co-founder and CEO of ClassTag
South Florida is now home to another rising star in the EdTech space. Last month, Vlada Lotkina, co-founder and CEO of ClassTag, made the move to Miami.
The startup, which has reportedly received $8.9 million in venture capital funding, has developed a platform that facilitates communications between parents and teachers.
Lotkina immigrated from Ukraine to the US in 2006 to undertake an MBA at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, before landing a New York-based consulting role at BCG. She then worked as a senior director and practice lead at data storage consultancy Dell EMC.
Lotkina told Refresh Miami that the inspiration to migrate to Miami from New York came on a winter vacation last year. “When I was here, I met a few of my founder friends, and they brought me to events,” she explained. “I felt the energy, and it felt like something very exciting was happening here.”
She continued: “As a startup founder, it’s so important to be in an environment that is growing, expanding, and has a hunger for success and growth. Seeing some of Miami’s entrepreneurs really opened up my eyes to this opportunity.”
Just a few months later, and Lotkina and her daughter have already put down roots in the Magic City. “She loves her school in Miami, and we found a great place to live that is substantially cheaper than New York,” Lotkina said. “I’m loving it.”
While ClassTag’s 15-person team is globally distributed, there is already one employee in Tampa, and another one planning to move to South Florida in the near future. As the startup continues to grow, Lotkina signaled that she hopes to increase the company’s South Florida footprint.
Lotkina predicts that South Florida will become a hub for EdTech: “EdTech is emerging as one of the core verticals in Miami tech.” She highlighted Nearpod’s recent exit as a particularly exciting development in the local scene.
ClassTag’s suite of products includes a platform that can be viewed on web browsers or through an app. According to Lotkina, “it not only collects and retains information so there is a single source of truth for anything that parents might need to know, but it also pushes this information out according to parent preference.” Additionally, the platform automatically translates content into over 100 languages, increasing accessibility and breaking down communication barriers between teachers and parents.
The startup has a few different lines of business. Their primary revenue source had traditionally been partnerships with brands like Amazon, H&M, and Clorox. These sponsorships ensure that parents and teachers can use the platform for free.
However, taking advantage of Winston Churchill’s adage, “never let a good crisis go to waste,” ClassTag emerged from the pandemic with two new business lines. One of those two is enterprise SaaS, whereby ClassTag offers an all-in-one communications hub for school systems to purchase.
The other new income stream is eCommerce, where donations collected for teachers can be used to purchase items for the classroom – everything from crayons to cameras for Zoom. “Coming from Ukraine, I was shocked to learn that 92% of teachers are spending on average $500 out of pocket on essential supplies,” Lotkina explained.
ClassTag has received more than half a million dollars of donations for teachers. For Lotkina, this validates her thesis that ClassTag’s platform “unlocks the power of community to support teachers.” Five million parents and teachers in 25,000 schools across the US currently use ClassTag’s products.
Through the pandemic, Lotkina reports that the ClassTag team has seen significant growth and is on track to triple revenue this year Their enterprise business is expanding particularly rapidly, having experienced more than 10x growth over the last year.
READ MORE ON REFRESH MIAMI:
- Thousands of schools use ClassWallet’s tools to more easily make financial transactions
- CEO of financial aid startup Frank migrates to Miami. A third of her team is here, too
- Founder of edtech startup AllHere raises $8M to bring AI-powered chatbots to K-12
- A $650 million exit for Nearpod, a homegrown success story
I am a Palm Beach-based technology researcher and writer with a passion for sharing stories about the South Florida tech ecosystem. I particularly enjoy learning about GovTech startups, cutting-edge applications of artificial intelligence, and innovators that leverage technology to transform society for the better. Always open for pitches via Twitter @rileywk or www.RileyKaminer.com.
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