Neil here. I don’t know about you, but myself (and my staff) are going a little bit crazy on the sixth straight week of working from home.
But while some of us are parents, none of us here at The Startup Investor has school-aged children. Personally, I’m endlessly thankful that my daughter is just a baby during all this madness – and I tip my hat to the warrior moms, dads, and guardians who are juggling housework, work-work, and homeschooling all at once.
Whether we were ready for it or not, 2020 is now the year of edtech – technology used to move education forward. According to UNESCO, more than 1.4 billion “learners” are stuck at home right now. And dozens of companies have stepped up to beam classes straight to your living room.
Many of these startups are seeing staggering increases in their user base numbers, and while this level of growth is not sustainable, it has forced education ahead in many respects. Edtech startups have had to scale at unprecedented rates to meet demand; meanwhile, teachers, students, and parents have had to fully immerse themselves in the latest technology just to continue meeting their goals.
In other words, COVID-19 has essentially pushed edtech’s innovation timeline forward by five or ten years, virtually overnight.
The implications of this shift could be enormous. Of course, when this is all over and we go back to our “normal” lives, I don’t personally believe that the majority of kids will continue to learn from home full-time. Going to school every day is an experience that can teach so much more than just a curriculum.
Still, I have no doubt that some of the most progressive cities (New York, Los Angeles, and so on) will see a lasting boost in homeschooling. Before this crisis, homeschooled kids were such a small minority of the population that I often heard people talk about them as if they were a different species: “Wow, you were homeschooled? What was it like?” (Often with the ignorant subtext: “Did you turn out okay?”)
Today, homeschooling is the sweeping norm, which means that innovation and adoption are at all-time highs. And I believe that the tech born from this time will stick around – not just for homeschooled learners but also to supplement school curricula.
It would seem that VCs agree with me on that. A recent survey by TechCrunch indicated that some VCs shifted a large part of their focus to edtech in March… and that many of them are on it full time in April.
I can tell you firsthand that these trends are producing lasting benefits for startups in the edtech space. Over at the Angels & Entrepreneurs Network, we featured an edtech company back in February, long before most Americans were told to stay home.
This company was doing well in its space even then… but in the past few months, their user base has absolutely exploded. In March alone, they saw an 839% uptick in new accounts created; meanwhile, their total page views shot up by 1,923%.
This is sure to have a lasting positive impact on this company’s revenue and overall traction – and I couldn’t be more pleased that we recommended it before it started to really take off. They’re still accepting investors right now… but in eight short days, this raise will be closed forever… Which is why I needed to tell you about it right now.
If you’re already a subscriber of the Angels & Entrepreneurs Network, you can head directly to the deal page by clicking here. If not, just click here to see how you can learn more about this trailblazing company.
We’ll talk soon.
Until next time,