What is edtech
To begin with Educational technology is simply the combined use of computers (that is the technological processes) and educational resources to facilitate learning and help improve students' academic performance.
Although online education via edtech platforms has been around much before Covid-19, the crisis has been a major catalyst in enhancing the learning process not just for students and educators, but for investors as well. Student enrolments and investments into the sector have both surged rapidly. Edtech has garnered investments worth $1.1 billion in 2020, its highest-ever annual tally and four times over last year. And a big surge in revenue during pandemic period has also helped convert customers faster, and investors expect that the trend will continue as users get comfortable with digital learning.
The last few months have been quite action-packed for education technology company Byju's. The Bengaluru-based firm leads the table which raised nearly $1.12 billion in four tranches from January 2020 to September 2020 from celebrated investors like Mary Meeker and Yuri Milner, and now from US private equity firm Silver Lake, Tiger Global, General Atlantic, Owl Ventures and DST Global. Unacademy has raised 150 million dollars from soft Bank, Nexus Venture, General Atlantic, etc.
Reasons for this major shift to online learning
Over the past few months, as students are confined to home, digital education has evolved as the only way to continue learning. Also, full-scale return to schools doesn't look plausible in this academic year, it will continue to push online as a main medium of instruction especially for primary and secondary levels. But will this technology stick once students go back to school? Studies on the efficacy of online as a medium for school teaching are still emerging. Even though schools will reopen, supplemental and remedial learning will continue to grow online.