2021 North America EdTech 200

HolonIQ’s annual list of the 200 most promising EdTech startups from North America.

Education Intelligence Unit

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December 8, 2021

The North America EdTech 200 is HolonIQ's annual list of the most promising EdTech startups from North America.

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HolonIQ’s annual North America EdTech 200 includes EdTech startups based across North America. North America has a long tradition of high quality public education systems and, while more traditional formats dominate the approach to education and learning overall, the integration of technology into learning has been steadily increasing, accelerated by the shift to online learning through the COVID pandemic. New models are emerging and incumbent players are looking harder at their digital solutions, while governments consider mechanisms for equitable access and outcomes.

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

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Half Direct-to-Consumer & over a third B2B.

Over one third of this year’s cohort operate primarily in a B2B model, working with institutions, school systems, universities or corporates to support educational and business outcomes. In K12, the rapid move to online learning during school closures led to equally high demand for solutions to keep learning happening but also keep school processes humming, solutions such as Showbie (Canada) provide a ‘connected classroom’ for teachers and kids including feedback, assignments and communication. Also in demand from institutions are learning management systems such as Class Technologies, analytics solutions and social-emotional-learning solutions such as Panorama Education or Brightbytes.

Almost half of the cohort are in the direct-to-consumer segment, with startups such as Preply or Voxy in the language learning segment, and up-skilling startups such as Code Academy, Section4 or Rithm School for tech skills, or seniors up-skilling platform GetSetup.

Solid growth stage startups in this mature market.

This year sees a younger cohort than last year with a big jump in growth stage startups between 4-6 years old. Globally the pandemic has made it difficult to get traction for very early stage companies, but has seen those startups already with market fit, gaining traction as the demand for EdTech over the last few years has skyrocketed. One in five startups in the cohort are 3 years old or younger, illustrating a strong pipeline of EdTech

Half focused on workforce solutions, with strong support in Higher Education.

This year sees a strengthened focus on workforce EdTech solutions, making up almost half the cohort. This patterns fits with the ‘skills over degrees’ movement and growing up-skilling / re-skilling demands from employers and industry, which sees such startups as capability development for companies Learn In, remote worker training platform Tango, and tech upskilling for companies, Pathstream on the list.

Although slightly lower than last year, startups in the Higher Education sector are over one quarter, as North American institutions seek solutions for their digital transformation. OPM, MOOC and Bootcamp startups such as ESME Learning, InStride or Acadeum are partnering with higher education institutions to support their digital growth, while startups like Top Hat (Canada) provide digital content, Mainstay offers college admission guidance, and Civitas connects data across an institution.

Track the 2021 Cohort

HolonIQ customers can track the 200 most promising EdTech startups from North America on the intelligence platform. Look for the 2021 North America EdTech 200 list in the Lists tab of the Organizations page. Request a Demo if you are not a customer and would like to learn more.

Track the 2021 Cohort

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Criteria & Methodology

The North America EdTech 200 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 North America EdTech 200.

The North America EdTech 200 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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