Global EdTech 1000 - 2021 Stats

Benchmarking the 2021 Global EdTech 1000

Education Intelligence Unit

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February 23, 2022

Every year, HolonIQ’s Education Intelligence Unit identifies the top 1000 EdTech startups around the world. The global 1000 is built region by region from over 10,000 nominations, applications and screening to ensure the global cohort is diverse and to shine a light on the inspiring innovation happening all around the world.


Applications
for the 2023 Global EdTech 1000 are now open.

Winners of HolonIQ's 2022 Global EdTech 1000 will be announced at our Global Summits around the world, September to November 2022. You can also check out the 30 individual impact maps for the 2021 Global EdTech 1000, Global Climate Tech 1000 and Global Digital Health 1000.

The purpose of the Global EdTech 1000 is to identify the most promising, young, fast-growing and innovative learning and upskilling startups in each major region of the world. To be eligible, startups must be less than 10 years old, are headquartered in the region in question, or predominantly focused on that market (e.g. > 80% revenue/customers). They must also be ‘startups’ (‘pre-exit’, i.e. not acquired, a subsidiary or listed) and not controlled by an investor group (e.g. via private equity buyout or controlling investment).

The HolonIQ Education Intelligence Unit and select market experts assess each organization based on HolonIQ’s startup scoring rubric, which in brief covers the following dimensions:

Market. The quality and relative attractiveness of the specific market category in which the company competes.

Product. The quality, uniqueness and impact of the product itself.

Team. The expertise and diversity of the leadership team.

Capital. The financial health of the company and its ability to generate or secure sufficient funding.

Momentum. Positive changes in the size, velocity and impact of the company over time.

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Workforce and management systems together make up nearly 50% of the 2021 Global EdTech 1000

At each of our regional summits we will announce and shine a light on the most promising startups operating in the region. By the end of the summits, we start to see the full and diverse global picture of innovation and technology. The chart below shows the total global cohort of 1000 startups segmented by their ‘sub-sector’, taken from HolonIQ’s Open Source Taxonomy, the Global Learning Landscape.

Nearly one in four of the Global EdTech 1000 are focused on workforce learning and upskilling and not far behind are startups focused on management systems. Together these two sub-sectors make up nearly 50% of the Global EdTech 1000 and are heavily biased on B2B models, although a significant number of the workforce-focused startups also offer direct to consumer upskilling products and services.

Different regions of the world have different areas of focus, demand or specialization in education innovation and technology, driving variation in the regional composition by sub-sector.

While we see clear sub-sector trends that run across regions around the world, we also see outliers and over or underweight sub-sector focus compared to the global weighted average.

Australia and New Zealand is perhaps the largest outlier with 41% of the ANZ 50 focused on Management Systems, nearly double the global weighted average. Regions such as Latin America and the Caribbean, Sub Saharan Africa, Middle East and North Africa and Russia all have very high Workforce exposure, while other regions are more focused on K12 and have lower exposures to Workforce such as the Nordic Baltic and East Asia (China, Japan, Korea) region.

Globally, 6% of the Global EdTech 1000 were founded through the pandemic, and 55% founded in the four years prior. This leaves just under 40% who were formed prior to 2015.

By analyzing the founding year of the Global EdTech 1000, we can also see trends in company formation, biased of course by the fact that we are looking at the most promising startups region by region.

Interesting outliers include the Nordic Baltic region, with 12% of the 2021 cohort founded during COVID. At the other end of the spectrum Australia and New Zealand have more than 50% of the cohort founded prior to 2015, with East Asia and North America not far behind with older cohorts than the global weighted average.

Founding year patterns in the 1000 together with sub-sectors hint at category formation and growth over time. Content and Management Systems formation is declining in the cohort over time but still represents 24% in 2021. Workforce has been running strong over the prior decade, while tutoring has accelerated formation through the pandemic, as has online learning.

The two charts below show the trend in the founding year, or company formation, for the Global EdTech 1000. Left to right in both charts we see the composition of the startups founded in that range. On the left we see the formation composition by sub-sector and on the right we see the formation composition by macro region categories.

On the left we are seeing some slight compression in STEAM, Language Learning and Testing. On the right, it is more difficult to see any material patterns, other than perhaps APAC showing the largest growth in formation through the pandemic and EMEA a decline in formation share.

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HolonIQ's Education Intelligence Unit rates thousands of organisations from startups to listed companies, powering annual assessments such as the Global EdTech 1000 and HolonIQ-powered Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) listed around the world, enabling investors to be thematically selective about where they invest.

HolonIQ’s intelligence Platform powers decisions that matter at the world’s largest and leading institutions, technology platforms, companies and investors. But one of our most demanding Platform power users is our own Intelligence Unit. Our engineering team builds software and tools that power our customers and our own Intelligence Unit to make tens of thousands of machine-learning powered and human-driven quantitative and qualitative assessments, applying the scientific method to impact intelligence and investing.

The screenshot below shows a sample ratings cohort of companies that have been assessed on multiple dimensions and are being evaluated by an analyst. We build tools that help analysts leverage technology, data science, and human evaluation to power decisions that matter. Our intelligence unit applies those tools, along with a rigorous, scientific mindset, to in this case, identify the most promising EdTech startups around the world.

30 Regional Impact Maps

Explore each of the 30 individual impact maps for the 2021 Global EdTech 1000, Global Climate Tech 1000 and Global Digital Health 1000.

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