2020 North America EdTech 100. Where are they now?

How are North America Top 100 EdTech Startups of 2020 performing and where are they now?

Education Intelligence Unit

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September 30, 2021

In December 2020, HolonIQ announced the annual North America EdTech 100 — a list of the 100 most promising EdTech startups headquartered in North America. As we open applications for the annual North America EdTech 200, we take a look at where the 2020 cohort are now.

North America represents one of the most longstanding and mature EdTech markets globally and at the same time, continues to be a powerhouse of innovation both in technology, market and business model. There are thousands of EdTech companies across North America supporting learners, teachers, schools, institutions and companies to positively impact educational outcomes, support access to learning and increase the efficiency of educational processes and systems.

The HolonIQ North America EdTech 100 recognises the most promising EdTech teams based across Canada and the United States. This annual list helps to surface the innovations occurring across all parts of the market, and the teams who are supporting institutions, teachers, parents, learners and employers.

Eligibility for the list covers areas including:

Age. The company is less than 10 years old, with few exceptions in circumstances such as bootstrapped or academic/philanthropic projects that have spun out to become startups. Mature incumbents are generally not eligible as this list is focused on young and fast growing start-ups.
Geography. Headquartered in the USA or Canada, or predominately focused on these markets (e.g. > 80% revenue/customers)
Status. Pre exit, EdTech start-ups, (not acquired or listed), not a subsidiary of a larger company or controlled by an investor group (e.g. via private equity buyout or controlling investment)
Scope. Technology, not just Software. JobTech/HRTech focused on upskilling/learning.

The annual North America EdTech 200 is focused on identifying young, fast growing and innovative learning and up-skilling start-ups based in North America.

Governments and the media, institutions and investors, schools and educators, influencers and talented leaders from across North America and around the world look to HolonIQ’s North America EdTech 200 as the benchmark for education innovation in the region.

HolonIQ 2020 North America EdTech 100

HolonIQ's Scoring Fingerprint

In 2020, HolonIQ’s Education Intelligence Unit evaluated 1000+ submissions from across the United States and Canada, powered by data and insights from our Impact Intelligence Platform and local experts. Each organization was assessed using our proprietary scoring engine and following HolonIQ’s startup scoring rubric. Our normalization algorithm ensures that individual scoring bias is eliminated to create an equitable baseline and allows experts to review their own ‘scoring fingerprint’ relative to other experts. HolonIQ’s startup scoring rubric covers the following dimensions:

Market. The quality and relative attractiveness of the specific market in which the company competes.
Product. The quality and uniqueness of the product itself.
Team. The expertise and diversity of the team.
Capital. The financial health of the company and in particular its ability to generate or secure sufficient funding.
Momentum. Positive changes in the size and velocity of the company over time.

Screenshot-2020-06-09-08.47.29

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Where are they now?

Since announcing the list just under a year ago, companies in the 2020 North America EdTech 100 have collectively raised over $2.5B in private funding. Over 30 companies raised the $2.5B, with a massive average round size of ~$80M. Nine of those companies raised Mega Rounds (> $100M) including Age of Learning ($300M), ApplyBoard ($300M), Masterclass ($225M), Degreed ($153M), Guild ($150M), TopHat ($130M), BetterUp ($125M), Prodigy ($125) and Newsela ($100M).

Five of the Cohort became Unicorns in Masterclass, Outschool, Handshake, Degreed and Newsela while four more IPO’d in the last 10 months with a combined market cap today of $13B. Duolingo (NASDAQ: DUOL – $6.3B market cap today), Coursera (NYSE: COUR – $4.2B), Nerdy via SPAC (NYSE: NRDY – $1.7B) and Thinkific (TSE: THNC – $0.9B) have completed their IPOs and Quizlet and Udemy are but a few of the cohort that have recently disclosed their intention to IPO in Q4 and through 2022.

$3B in acquisitions

Since December 2020 when the cohort was announced, eleven of the companies have been acquired for a collective $3B. EdX was acquired by 2U for $800M, Nearpod was acquired by Renaissance Learning for $650M, EPIC was acquired by ByJu‘s for $500 and Clever was acquired by Kahoot for $500M as well.

Notable other acquisitions include Kenzie Academy‘s acquisition by SNHU also acquisitions of Ginger, Ellevation Education, FreshGrade, Securly and Wyzant.

Register for the 2021 North America EdTech 100 Launch Webinar to learn more about the 2020 cohort and of course, be the first to know the 100 companies selected as part of the 2021 North America EdTech 100.

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