A Decade of Coding Bootcamps

From zero to 400 players fueled by $1B+ of Venture Capital in a decade. Bootcamps are just getting started as the evolution of post-secondary education accelerates.

Education Intelligence Unit

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January 16, 2020

The last decade gave rise to over 400 coding bootcamp players fuelled by over one billion dollars of VC and more recently another one billion+ in income sharing agreements and contingent loans. This global cohort was a driving force in modernising offline post secondary education, dramatically reducing cost, time to complete and expanding access. Immersive, non-degree technology, focused programs burst onto the scene early in the decade, bust in 2017 and boomed in 2018 and 2019 in one of the most fundamental developments in post-secondary education for the last decade.

400+ bootcamps and still evolving.

Designed to fill the skills gaps for coding and other new digital skills, the original bootcamp model – intensive, full-time, in-person programs aimed to get learners ‘job ready’ for in-demand professions – has morphed into a variety of formats and business models.

The most obvious trend is the B2B move, with providers servicing corporates who need to up-skill their workforce quick smart, and those who service universities to assist in graduate employability, to fill curriculum gaps and supplement continuing education revenues. However there are still plenty of B2C bootcamps around and also many online and blended options.

Screenshot 2020-01-16 09.28.24

2018 Funding peak.

2018 saw over $280M in venture funding into Bootcamps, with 2019 moderating to $240M. Notable 2019 venture rounds were Andela ($100M), Talent Garden ($50M), Lamda School ($30M), MakeSchool ($15M) and Simplon ($13.5M).

Of the almost 200 venture capital rounds recorded in the last 10 years, over 60% are at Seed and Series A and the US accounts for three-quarters of all Bootcamp investment, followed by France, Italy, China, Argentina, Canada and Japan.

2020 Bootcamps Funding

M&A activity.

Following initial years of growth, 2017/18 saw the beginning of consolidation activity that continued into 2019, with 10+ acquisitions during this period. Both education & talent companies started to acquire bootcamps as adjacent products and future growth options. General Assembly was acquired in 2018 by Adecco (a European-based HR recruitment firm – one of the largest in the world), representing further evidence of the rapidly diminishing gap between education and workforce, with talent companies focusing on supporting their clients’ full range of human capital needs.

2U’s spectacular acquisition of Trilogy, Zovio’s purchase of Fullstack Academy and Chegg’s recent acquisition of Thinkful are all examples of this trend, which is likely to continue as bootcamps can provide capabilities in the job skills & outcomes space, which is demanded by employers, learners, institutions and regulators alike.


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