Online Courses: The Edtech Boom


Online courses appeal to parents and businesses, but less so to some governments


©Freepik

Byju’s was collecting users even before Covid-19 closed classrooms around the world. India’s most valuable private start-up was co-founded in 2011 by Byju Raveendran, a famous math teacher whose classes drew crowds they filled stadiums. By 2019, millions of Indian children had signed up to use the company’s flagship product, an app that offers online classes designed to complement traditional education. That year, Byju’s began sponsoring the Indian national cricket team.

Flood of investments in edtechs

Since then, Indian schools have spent more time closed than open, and Byju’s fortune has steadily grown. The number of children whose parents pay to use the app more than doubled to 7 million. At the end of 2021, investors valued the company at more than $20 billion, three times more than before the health crisis. In January, Bloomberg reported that Byju’s could soon unveil plans to go public in New York and merge with a “blank check company,” or SPAC. [entreprise cotée en bourse et qui n’a pas de plan d’affaires établi, ndt]. The agency previously announced that such a transaction could raise around $4 billion, which would value the company at $48 billion.

“Venture investors invested approximately $21 billion in edtech companies in 2021. That’s three times what it was in 2019 and 40 times more than a decade ago.”

Byju is the largest of a cluster of startups capitalizing on the rapid growth of e-learning. According to research firm Holon IQ, venture capitalists invested around $21 billion in edtech companies in 2021. That is three times as much as in 2019 and 40 times more than ten years ago. 17 edtech startups became “unicorns” (Rated […]

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