Ed tech funding hit record levels in 2014

The space saw $1.87 billion invested in 350 deals, with funding rising 55% from 2013

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
January 20, 2015
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We've focusing on health teach around here lately, for obvious reasons (get your tickets to Splash Health now!), but that is obviously not the only space seeing an infusion of cash and innovation. Ed tech is also going through something of a renaissance as well.

I often think of ed tech as sort of a companion piece to health, as they are the two areas of society that almost all of can agree really need to be shaken up. So it's nice to see both areas getting big infusions of cash in the past year.

Ed tech companies raised a total of $1.87 billion in 350 deals, in 2014, according to new data out from CB Insights on Tuesday. That represents a record for the space on both fronts, though it should be noted that funding for the space went up 55% year-to-year but the number deals only climbed 5%.

The space has seen some amazing growth in a  short amount of time: its funding total in 2014 was 110%, more than double, what it was in 2012.


When broken down by stage, more than half, 53%, of all deals were angel or seed investments. The next 25% were Series A, with Series B, C and D only making up a collective 22%.

Interestingly, despite making up such a small percentage of deals, the B and C rounds made nearly half of the funding. Series B represented 29% of all dollars, while Series C  represented 27%, equaling 48% of Ed Tech dollars deployed in 2014.

Some of the big mid-stage Ed Tech rounds last year that CB Insights points to are Pluralsight, a provider of online training for technology professionals, which raised $135 million; Remind, a secure mobile communication product for teachers, students and parents, raised a $40 million round of funding; and Desire2Learn, a company that offers a cloud-based learning platform for schools, which raised $85 million.

Finally, when it came to valuations, ed tech had two companies join the $1 billion valuation club: Pluralsight and, which recently raised a $186 million round.

Other companies in the space with high valuations include NetDragon Education, which is valued at $477.5 million; Open English, valued at $350 million; and Declara, which is valued at $100 million.

Some of the other ed tech companies that raised funding last year include:

Adaptive learning platform  Smart Sparrow, which raised $10 million; Regent Education, a provider of financial aid management and enrollment optimization software, raised a $9 million round; Allclasses, a search engine for finding online classes, raised a $1.5 million round of funding; Udemy, a marketplace for learning and teaching online, raised $32 million; Clever, a platform that easily integrates with any K-12 school’s Student Information System, raised $10.3 $10.3 million; AltSchool, a network of micro-schools that offers personalized education for children, closed a $33 million round; and SimpleTution, which seeks to make it easier for students and their families to afford a higher education, raised $26 million.

In addition, Marck Zuckerberg donated $120 million to Bay Area schools.

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