Top EdTech Unicorn Startups in the world

Top EdTech Unicorn Startups in the world

EdTech Startup Scenarios

In India, with nationwide lockdown, there is a sudden surge in demand for EdTech startups. Therefore, others are struggling to find a way out. So, E-commerce and EdTech are two sectors that may survive this rock phase, say experts. Between January 2014 and September 2019, more than 4,450 EdTech startups have been launched in India. However, 25% of startups have shut shop while only 4.17% of startups have raised funds.

So, It would be safe to say that the traits of the Chinese economy which helped its EdTech industry boom find their parallels in India. Hence, it indicates a very bright future for Indian EdTech and may justify the high valuations that companies in this sector command. In addition, Dr. Akhil Shahani, Managing Director of Shahani Group said this.

With so much focus on technology in the classroom, schools are under pressure to invest more in gadgetry. While teaching is turning to digital tools, students are still tested through analog exams and standardized grading.

Further, On May 17, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a host of new initiatives to propel the growth of online education in India amid the COVID-19 crisis. The announcement of 12 new TV channels (one for every grade in K-12) is a massive and unprecedented step towards increasing the reach of educational content for Indian households, especially the ones which lack access to a high-speed internet connection for unhindered consumption of learning content.

List of EdTech Startups

1. Byju’s

  • Founder: Byju Raveendran.
  • Establishment year: 2011
  • Headquarter Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India
  • Date of joining as Unicorn: 25-July-17
  • Valuation: $10.5 Billion
  • Investors: Investors are Tencent Holdings, Lightspeed India Partners, Sequoia Capital India

Byju’S – The Learning App is the common brand name for Think and Learn Private Ltd., an Indian educational technology (EdTech) and online tutoring firm. Moreover, Byju’s runs on a freemium model. In addition, free access to content is limited to 15 days after registration. Also, it provides educational content mainly to school students from class 1 to 12 (primary to higher secondary level education)

Learn more about Byju’s

2. Yuanfudao

  • Founder: Yong Li
  • Establishment year: 2012
  • Headquarter Location: Beijing, China
  • Date of joining as a unicorn: 31-May-17
  • Valuation: $7.8 Billion
  • Investors: Tencent Holdings, Warbug Pincus, IDG Capital

Yuanfudao is the largest online live course platform servicing primary and secondary school students in China. Yuanfudao offers a comprehensive curriculum and services for subjects from kindergarten through grade 12 which can also check homework by taking a picture of it. Further, it has a paying user base of over 1 million

Learn more about Yuanfudao

3. VIPkid

  • Founders: Cindy Mi, Victor Zhang, and Jessie Chen
  • Establishment year: 2013
  • Headquarter Location: Beijing, China
  • Date of joining as Unicorn: 23-August-17
  • Valuation: $4.5 Billion
  • Investors: Sequoia Capital China, Tencent Holdings, Sinovation Ventures

VIPKid connects children in China with the world’s best teachers for real-time one-to-one online English immersion learning. In addition, teachers can teach any student who books their class. Also, VIPKid developed its own cutting-edge platform to facilitate its one-on-one classes.

Learn more about VIPKid

4. Zuoyebang

  • Founder: Hou Jianbin
  • Establishment Year: 2014
  • Headquarter Location: Beijing, China
  • Date of joining as Unicorn: 18-July-18
  • Valuation: $3 Billion
  • Investors: Sequoia Capital China, Xiang He Capital, GGV Capital

So, Zuoyebang is an online education startup that provides tutoring services for primary and secondary students. It is also a comprehensive study tool for school work search, efficient practice, learning, and discussion. Zuoyebang is a platform where scholars can seek answers to study-related problems, and also supply methods to peers who are trying to find assistance. Also, it started as a phase of the Q&A website Baidu Zhidao.

Learn more about Zuoyebang

5. Udemy

  • Founders: Eren Bali, Gagan Biyani and Oktay Caglar
  • Establishment year: 2009
  • Headquarter Location: San Francisco, California, United States
  • Date of joining as Unicorn: 19-February-20
  • Valuation: $2 Billion
  • Investors: MHS Capital, Insight Partners, Norwest Venture Partners

Udemy is an online learning platform aimed at professional adults and students. In addition, students take courses largely as a means of improving job-related skills. Also, some courses generate credit towards technical certification. Further, Udemy has made a special effort to attract corporate trainers seeking to create coursework for employees of their company.

Learn more about Udemy

6. ApplyBoard

  • Founders: Martin Basiri, Meti Basiri, Massi Basiri
  • Establishment Year: 2015
  • Headquarter Location: Downtown Kitchener, Canada
  • Date of joining as Unicorn: 5-May-20
  • Valuation: $1.5 Billion
  • Investors: Artiman Ventures, Plug and Play Ventures, Anthos Capital

ApplyBoard connects international students and recruitment partners to educational opportunities at institutions around the world. Also, using the ApplyBoard Platform, students and recruitment partners can easily search and apply to 1,200+ educational institutions and 30,000+ programs.

Learn more about ApplyBoard

7. Duolingo

  • Founders: Luis von Ahn and Severin Hacker
  • Establishment Year: 2012
  • Headquarter Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Date of joining as Unicorn: 12-April-19
  • Valuation: $1.5 Billion
  • Investors: CapitalG, Union Square Ventures, New Enterprise Associates

Duolingo is an American platform that includes a language-learning website and mobile app, as well as a digital language proficiency assessment exam. Further, the company uses the freemium model; the app and the website are accessible without charge, although Duolingo also offers a premium service for a fee.

Learn more about Duolingo

8. Changingedu

  • Founder: Liu Changke
  • Establishment Year: 2014
  • Headquarter Location: Xuhui, Shanghai, China
  • Date of joining as Unicorn: 30-October-17
  • Valuation: $1.5 Billion
  • Investors: Trustbridge Partners, IDG Capital, Sequoia Capital China

Changingedu is a Shanghai-based online education service app maker. By selecting the right teachers and customizing the curriculum according to the needs of children, it has already provided more than 10 million hours of teaching services to hundreds of thousands of families across the country. So, through the combined use of online and on-site methods, it breaks the limitations of time and space

Learn more about Changingedu

9. Luoji Siwei

  • Founder: Zhenyu Luo
  • Establishment Year: 2012
  • Headquarter Location: China, Beijing
  • Date of joining as Unicorn: 20-July-17
  • Valuation: $1.17 Billion
  • Investors: Sequoia Capital China, Qiming Venture Partners, Tencent Holdings

Luoji Siwei, a China-based talk show, provides a mobile app that allows users to subscribe to learn from key opinion leaders (KOLs). Furthermore, Luoji Siwei has become China’s most profitable pay-for-knowledge platform, allowing users to subscribe to learn from subject-matter experts. In addition, the company interacts with followers through various means including WeChat subscription accounts and talk shows.

Learn more about Luoji Siwei

10. Course Hero

  • Founders: Andrew Grauer, Gregor Carrigan
  • Establishment Year: 2006
  • Headquarter Location: 2000 Seaport Blvd, Redwood City, California
  • Date of joining as Unicorn: 2-December-20
  • Valuation: $1.1 Billion
  • Investors: NewView Capital, Maveron, Ridge Ventures

Course Hero is an American education technology website. Further, it operates an online learning platform for students to access course-specific study resources contributed by a community of students and educators. Also, the crowdsourced learning platform contains practice problems, study guides, infographics, class notes, step-by-step explanations, etc.

Learn more about Course Hero

11. Quizlet

  • Founder: Andrew Sutherland
  • Establishment Year: 2005
  • Headquarter Location: Albany, San Francisco California, United States
  • Date of joining as Unicorn: 13-May-20
  • Valuation: $1 Billion
  • Investors: Union Square Ventures, Altos Ventures, Costanoa Ventures

Quizlet is an American online study application that allows students to study information via learning tools and games. In addition, Quizlet trains students via flashcards and various games and tests. Furthermore, it started as a simple tool that has grown into seven different study modes, tools to help teachers get the most out of their students, and activities to help classes learn and have fun together.

Learn more about Quizlet

12. KnowBox

  • Founder: Liu Ye
  • Establishment Year: 2014
  • Headquarter Location: Beijing, China
  • Date of joining as Unicorn: 30-May-19
  • Valuation: $1 Billion
  • Investors: TAL Education Group, Legend Star, Alibaba Group

KnowBox creates an online collaborative space. So, teachers can assign and correct homework, and students can do homework. Also, the company is to target AI education, building an intelligent education ecosystem for on-campus teaching and home counseling. KnowBox is offering Chinese the largest series of products of teaching tools for public school teachers and students as well as AI-enabled adaptive learning services for students.

Learn more about KnowBox

13. Coursera

  • Founders: Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller
  • Establishment Year: 2012
  • Headquarter Location: Mountain View, California, U.S.
  • Date of joining as Unicorn: 25-April-19
  • Valuation: $1 Billion
  • Investors: New Enterprise Associates, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, GSV Capital, Learn Capital

Coursera is a worldwide online learning platform. In addition, Coursera works with universities and other organizations to offer online courses, certifications, and degrees in a variety of subjects. Moreover, every course on Coursera is taught by top instructors from world-class universities and companies. Furthermore, Hundreds of free courses give access to on-demand video lectures, homework exercises, and community discussion forums.

Learn more about Coursera

14. 17zuoye

  • Founders: Liu Chang and Dun Xiao
  • Establishment Year: 2011
  • Headquarter Location: Shanghai, China
  • Date of joining as Unicorn: 3-July-18
  • Valuation: $1 Billion
  • Investors: DST Global, Temasek Holdings

17zuoye is an online learning platform for students K-12, as well as teachers and parents. This company offers a multi-platform homework solution that is in sync with the textbook curriculum and enhanced by big data analytics. 17zuoye also acts as a social network for these users, having the largest real-name-based online teachers’ forum and WeChat parent’s community in the country.

Learn more about 17zuoye

15. Huike Group

  • Founder: Fang Yichang
  • Establishment Year: 2010
  • Headquarter Location: Beijing, China
  • Date of joining as Unicorn: 24-May-20
  • Valuation: $1 Billion
  • Investors: Fosun RZ Capital, Oceanwide Holdings, Shenzhen Qianhe Capital Management Co.

Huike Group is an educational institution that provides cutting-edge technology comprehensive education solutions. In addition, it actively cooperates with the national “12th Five-Year Plan” to vigorously develop mobile Internet, cloud computing, big data, and other core new-generation information technologies. Huike Education Group has more than 300 nationalities including Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Fudan University, Peking University, etc.

Learn more about Huike Group

16. Zhangmen

  • Founder: Yi Zhang
  • Establishment Year: 2010
  • Headquarter Location: Shanghai, China
  • Date of joining as Unicorn: 26-December-17
  • Valuation: $1 Billion
  • Investors: Shunwei Capital Partners, QingSong Fund, Warburg Pincus

Zhangmen is an online tutoring platform that provides tutoring courses to students. Moreover, with Zhangmen, primary and middle school students from 8 to 18 years of age can select top teachers for personalized, one-on-one tutoring sessions. Further, Zhangmen was created as a platform with a focus on making access to educational resources convenient and easy for students.

Learn more about Zhangmen

17. Age of Learning

  • Founder: Doug Dohring
  • Establishment Year: 2007
  • Headquarter Location: Glendale, California, U.S
  • Date of joining as Unicorn: 5-March-16
  • Valuation: $1 Billion
  • Investors: Iconiq Capital

Age of Learning is a leading education technology innovator. Also, it creates engaging and effective learning resources to help children build a strong foundation for academic success. Also, the Company offers parents and teachers a safe engaging online environment that supplements and supports preschool, kindergarten, and early elementary school programs.

Learn more about Age of Learning

18. iTutorGroup

  • Founder: Dr. Eric Yang
  • Establishment Year: 1998
  • Headquarter Location: Taipei, Taiwan
  • Date of joining as Unicorn: 18-November-15
  • Valuation: $1 Billion
  • Investors: QiMing Venture Partners, Temasek Holdings, Silverlink Capital

iTutorGroup is an online education company providing individualized, personalized learning experiences to students and business professionals. Further, this is achieved through its network and sourcing of experts and teachers in thousands of centers, institutions, and cities around the world. So, iTutorGroup does this by leveraging big data analytics and utilizing advanced algorithmic matching between students, classmates, teaching consultants, and digital content.

Learn more about iTutorGroup

19. HuJiang

  • Founder: Cairui Fu
  • Establishment Year: 2001
  • Headquarter Location: Shanghai, China
  • Date of joining as Unicorn: 29-October-15
  • Valuation: $1 Billion
  • Investors: China Minsheng Investment, Baidu, Wanxin Media

So, HuJiang develops a foreign language educational platform designed to train candidates in various foreign languages. Also, the Company’s platform offers online video classes and interactive communication sessions with professional teachers, enabling candidates to learn new languages in a fun way. Further, it provides a wide range of educational products and programs.

Learn more about HuJiang


Hence, based on the above information, there are nearly 19 startups/companies that are unicorns in Educational Technology Sector. Further, countries like The United States, India, and China played great roles in making EdTech impactful in the Educational Industry. Moreover, China is at the top in terms of Unicorn companies involved in EdTech. But India is also evolving to be at the top of the EdTech sector as startups are being involved in implementing EdTech to transform the traditional Educational system.

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