2021 East Asia EdTech 150

HolonIQ’s annual list of the 150 most promising EdTech startups from East Asia.

Education Intelligence Unit

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November 18, 2021

The East Asia EdTech 150 is HolonIQ's list of the 150 most promising EdTech startups from East Asia.

2021 EdTech Badges (1)

HolonIQ’s East Asia EdTech 150 list includes EdTech startups based in the the the ecosystems of East Asia including Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, China and Taiwan. This region is home to 1.6 billion people, making it the the most populated in the world. It is also an emerging powerhouse for high tech, accounting for over half of global growth in tech-company revenues in the last decade, 45%+ of global startup funding and spending on R&D. Education is a key component of such development so it’s not surprising to see such strength in the 2021 East Asia EdTech 150, particularly in the STEAM, Robotics and AI with teams such as Makeblock, Turing Robot, Squirrel AI, Mathpresso, and Elice.

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Startups are categorized by their main focus. Categories in the market map are not mutually exclusive.

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D2C dominates in this maturing market.

The vast majority of startups in this year’s cohort operate in a direct-to-consumer model, indicative of the overall market in the region. Individual consumers (both parents and adult learners) have a high willingness to pay for education outside the formal sector in order to achieve their goals, whether university entrance, high marks at school or professional recognition. Direct to Consumer models operate across all sectors and segments, from Korean language learning learning app via chatbot, Eggbun Education (Korea) to vocational training and professional education, Fenbi (China), programming camps for kids Life is Tech (Japan) and learning English by listening with Hopenglish (Taiwan).

K12 remains a focus, with advanced tech embedded throughout.

Over half of this year’s cohort service the K12 and just over one quarter focused on Workforce education. One in five are Language solutions for learning English (Ringle, E Heard, Catch It English), Chinese (Tanzhou), Japanese (BondLingo, Saola) and Korean (DICO). With elements of hardware and software, classroom technology solutions are well represented, such as Fuulea, Jector Digital and PolyV along with learning Environments have seen particular traction recently with startups such as atama +, Kidsloop, Classting and Classin.

Track the 2021 Cohort

HolonIQ customers can track the 150 most promising EdTech startups from East Asia on the intelligence platform. Look for the 2021 East Asia EdTech 150 list in the Lists tab of the Organizations page. Request a Demo if you are not a customer and would like to learn more.

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Criteria & Methodology

The East Asia EdTech 150 is focused on identifying young, fast growing and innovative learning and up-skilling start-ups working in the region. To be eligible, startups must be less than 10 years old, are either headquartered in the region, or predominately focused on this market (e.g. > 80% revenue/customers, and are pre exit (not acquired or listed) or not a subsidiary of a larger company or controlled by an investor group (e.g. via private equity buyout or controlling investment). Learn more about eligibility for the East Asia EdTech 150.

The East Asia EdTech 150 is focused on identifying young, fast growing and innovative learning and up-skilling start-ups working in the region. To be eligible, startups are generally less than 10 years old (though there are some exceptions), are either headquartered in the region, or predominately focused on this market (e.g. > 80% revenue/customers, are pre exit (not acquired or listed) and not a subsidiary of a larger company or controlled by an investor group (e.g. via private equity buyout or controlling investment).

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