Why EdTech Investment Activity Is Breaking Records In 2021

July 8, 2021

Celebrating the leaders and experts that are powering education into the future, host JW Marshall sets out to ask the “right questions” in EdTech to understand the changes in policy and technology that will power our universities, tradeschools, and companies – and drive growth in upskilling certifications.


Every six months or so, we host Tony Wan, Co-Founder, and former Managing Editor at EdSurge, and current Head of Investor Content at Reach Capital, to discuss the state of EdTech Investment. Wan last chatted with Voices of eLearning Host JW Marshall in January when they talked about the $2.2 billion raised in 2020.

During the spring, Wan transitioned from running EdSurge to his current role at Reach Capital, a venture capital firm that focuses on early-stage education technology investments. Wan knew the partners before making the transition, and he knew he wanted to cover investments and get back into the entrepreneurial side of things. Under his new role, he will research and write information focused on investor content, which is similar to what he was writing. Now, though, he will be making the news and not just covering it.

“As the industry evolves, I’m really surprised at how many new things I’m learning about different kinds of markets where there’s certainly an education or learning component to it.” – Tony Wan

After talking about Wan’s move, they dug into investment in EdTech. He noted that while most think of EdTech as exclusive to K-12, post-secondary, and early childhood, the industry has a lot more breadth. The EdTech space often intersects and merges with other industries, such as family tech, mental health, and physical health.

“As the industry evolves, I’m really surprised at how many new things I’m learning about different kinds of markets where there’s certainly an education or learning component to it,” Wan said before digging into the deals currently happening in the market.

In his most recent piece, he noted the pace and flurry of the deals happening as investment capital hit $3.2 billion in the first half of 2021. Current deals he covered include the recent filing for an IPO by Duolingo. Publicly-traded company 2U, a company that provides short courses, boot camps, and online programs from universities, acquired EdX for $800 million. The largest investment so far in 2021 went to Kajabi, who raised $550 million.

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