VCs investing in more education technology startups

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More venture capitalists last year bet on startups in the education-technology space than ever before.
Edtech startups, according to CB Insights, raised $1.6 billion during 2014, a 71 percent increase compared with the previous year, when edtech startups raised $944 million.

More money appears to be in the queue. In the past four quarters, including the second quarter of this year, edtech startups have raised $2.3 billion, a 96 percent increase compared with the previous four quarters.

Leading that charge are several companies with St. Louis ties.

Pluralsight, an online training platform that recently partnered with LaunchCode to offer its future apprentices free training, is the best-funded edtech startup, having raised $203.5 million, including a $135 million raise in August 2014 from investors such as Insight Venture Partners, ICONIQ Capital and Sorenson Capital.

Schoology, a classroom management software company founded in a Washington University entrepreneurship course, raised $15 million from Intel Capital, the investment arm of Intel, in June 2014.

Schoology founder and CEO Jeremy Friedman graduated from Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in economics and computer science in 2009. He formed the company while in the Hatchery business plan course offered at Washington University.
St. Louis-based companies have raised capital, too.

The iSelect Fund in February made an undisclosed investment in CrazyForEducation, a pre-revenue edtech startup focusing on tutoring via videos.

And Pixel Press, the St. Louis-based startup that developed create-your-own video game technology, will receive $50,000 after being accepted into a San Francisco accelerator program focused on early-stage companies using digital games for educational purposes.
Pixel Press also recently raised more than $68,000 for its Bloxels product on Kickstarter.

Read Also:  Pluralsight Raises $135 Million At A Valuation Approaching $1 Billion

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Mangi Tshikomba is a technology entrepreneur, Founder & CEO of Things Technologies and founding editor of EdTechDojo.co.za. He is a OYW Ambassador, Queens Young Leader and Brightest Young Minds Alumni. He holds BSc(Hon) Civil Engineering from Wits University, Jhb and Leadership Certificate from certificate from Cambridge University, UK. His interests are in Entrepreneurship, EdTech and Early Childhood Development (ECD).