Whether you’re seeking funding, networking opportunities, or validation for your startup, prepare to cut through the noise of numerous investors. In today’s crowded and sluggish VC landscape, finding a partner that aligns with your vision and goals becomes more challenging. To assist with your investor outreach strategy, we’ve compiled a list of top education venture capital funds packed with insights on key edtech VC trends and major industry players. This comprehensive overview will help you tailor your pitch, build strategic partnerships, and position your startup for success in the dynamic edtech market.

Ready to venture into the edtech industry? Check out our list of education and edtech venture capital firms to streamline your fundraising efforts.

Owl Ventures
120 investments
Focus:
  • Sports & Fitness
  • AI & Deep Tech
  • +22
Stage:
  • Seed
  • Series A
  • +2
Check:
  • $3M-$10M
  • $10M-$50M
Learn Capital
159 investments
Focus:
  • Sports & Fitness
  • AI & Deep Tech
  • +24
Stage:
  • Seed
  • Series A
  • +2
Check:
  • $100K-$500K
  • $500K-$1M
  • +2
GSV Ventures
139 investments
Focus:
  • VR & AR
  • Sports & Fitness
  • +19
Stage:
  • Seed
  • Series A
  • +2
Check:
  • $100K-$500K
  • $500K-$1M
  • +2
Reach Capital
129 investments
Focus:
  • VR & AR
  • Legal & Professional services
  • +19
Stage:
  • Seed
  • Series A
Check:
  • $0-$100K
  • $100K-$500K
  • +3
Rethink Education
133 investments
Focus:
  • AI & Deep Tech
  • Pharma
  • +22
Stage:
  • Seed
  • Series A
City Light Capital
179 investments
Focus:
  • Sports & Fitness
  • AI & Deep Tech
  • +27
Stage:
  • Seed
  • Series A
Check:
  • $0-$100K
  • $100K-$500K
  • +1
General Catalyst
1244 investments
Focus:
  • Sports & Fitness
  • AI & Deep Tech
  • +34
Stage:
  • Seed
  • Series A
  • +2
Check:
  • $500K-$1M
  • $1M-$3M
  • +2
Emerge Education
49 investments
Focus:
  • Hardware, Robotics & IoT
  • Legal & Professional services
  • +15
Stage:
  • Pre-Seed
  • Seed
  • +1
Check:
  • $100K-$500K
  • $500K-$1M
  • +1
New Markets Venture Partners
53 investments
Focus:
  • VR & AR
  • Legal & Professional services
  • +16
Stage:
  • Series A
  • Series B
  • +1
Check:
  • $0-$100K
  • $100K-$500K
  • +3
Kapor Capital
273 investments
Focus:
  • Sports & Fitness
  • AI & Deep Tech
  • +28
Stage:
  • Seed
  • Series A
Check:
  • $0-$100K
  • $100K-$500K
  • +1
Juvo Ventures
10 investments
Focus:
  • Legal & Professional services
  • AI & Deep Tech
  • +11
Stage:
  • Seed
  • Series A
Check:
  • $0-$100K
  • $100K-$500K
27V (fka Twenty Seven Ventures)
22 investments
Focus:
  • Hardware, Robotics & IoT
  • Legal & Professional services
  • +12
Stage:
  • Pre-Seed
  • Seed
Check:
  • $0-$100K
  • $100K-$500K
Emerson Collective
121 investments
Focus:
  • Sports & Fitness
  • AI & Deep Tech
  • +30
Stage:
  • Pre-Seed
  • Seed
Check:
  • $100K-$500K
  • $500K-$1M
Educapital
41 investments
Focus:
  • VR & AR
  • Legal & Professional services
  • +9
Stage:
  • Seed
  • Series A
  • +2
Check:
  • $1M-$3M
  • $3M-$10M
Runa Capital
148 investments
Focus:
  • AI & Deep Tech
  • Pharma
  • +24
Precursor Ventures
408 investments
Focus:
  • Sports & Fitness
  • AI & Deep Tech
  • +32
Stage:
  • Pre-Seed
  • Seed
Check:
  • $100K-$500K
Avalanche VC
35 investments
Focus:
  • VR & AR
  • Legal & Professional services
  • +11
Stage:
  • Pre-Seed
  • Seed
Check:
  • $0-$100K
  • $100K-$500K
  • +1
LearnStart
40 investments
Focus:
  • Hardware, Robotics & IoT
  • VR & AR
  • +14
Stage:
  • Pre-Seed
  • Seed
  • +1
Check:
  • $0-$100K
  • $100K-$500K
  • +1
Edovate Capital
21 investments
Focus:
  • Social media
  • Advertising & Marketing
  • +9
Stage:
  • Seed
Check:
  • $0-$100K
Bonsal Capital
38 investments
Focus:
  • Social media
  • Software & Apps
  • +9
Stage:
  • Seed
  • Series A
Check:
  • $0-$100K
  • $100K-$500K

The overview of education and edtech venture capital scene

In the edtech world, with recent funding cuts and mega-rounds dwindling, hope for a future boom is stronger than ever due to AI advancements and a focus on lifelong and remote/hybrid learning.

AI pervades the edtech industry, creating tailwinds for the future boom. However, it’s not enough to just label any product with AI. Edtech investors prioritize startups that use AI to enhance already robust products. For example, Duolingo, a language-learning platform, uses AI to offer more personalized lessons and increased engagement. Moreover, innovating with AI requires skilled teams, which could be problematic given the talent shortage. Edtech VCs believe this shortage might lead to more M&A deals, specifically acqui-hires of AI teams, even though overall M&A activity has been slow recently. 

Demand for remote and hybrid learning drives edtech funding. The pandemic has created a favorable market for edtech, necessitating the adoption of digital learning tools and hybrid models. This shift has given the edtech industry sustained momentum to expand its market. Platforms like Udacity and edX offer a wide range of online courses catering to students and professionals seeking flexible learning options. Tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams have become integral to hybrid learning models, providing the flexibility to switch between in-person and remote instruction as needed.

Edtech investors are ready to give top dollar to B2B startups. VCs consider B2B models stable and scalable. Despite offering longer sales cycles, these models provide more predictable revenue streams. It makes them more resilient during economic downturns, which is super relevant nowadays. B2C models also attract edtech VCs, even though they’re harder to monetize, with consumers getting more choosy. However, there are many other ways for DTC edtech companies to generate revenue beyond subscriptions, such as through advertising, freemium models, and certification fees. 

Focus on lifelong learning expands the edtech market size. To keep up with tech advancements, people must constantly uplevel their skills and knowledge. This need drives demand for platforms that support lifelong learning. For example, Udacity offers career-oriented nanodegrees and courses in partnership with Google, Amazon, and IBM, along with career services and mentorship. Skillshare provides thousands of online classes in creative and entrepreneurial skills like photography, design, and business, allowing learners to interact with peers and instructors.

Most active VC funds in education & edtech

Owl Ventures is one of the most active education venture capital firms globally. With over $2 billion in assets, it boasts a portfolio of 65 edtech companies, specializing in the future of work, Pre-K-12, and higher education. University Ventures is a private equity firm investing in education-focused companies. It also partners with colleges and universities to help create innovative higher education programs. Another prominent edtech VC is GSV Ventures which supports the development of digital learning from early childhood through lifelong education. 

Edtech angel investors

Some notable edtech angel investors include Naval Ravikant, a serial investor best known as the co-founder of AngelList, a platform connecting founders with investors and talent. As a strong supporter of edtech, he has backed multiple ventures, including Teachable, a platform for creating and selling online courses, and Udemy, an online learning marketplace. 

Esther Dyson actively invests in edtech companies such as Edmodo, a social learning network for teachers and students, Duolingo, a popular language learning app, and 2U, which partners with universities to offer online degree programs. She believes that edtech can transform education by improving quality and efficiency, simultaneously fueling curiosity and creativity. 

One more angel in the industry of edtech is Fabrice Grinda, a French entrepreneur and investor. He has supported over 600 startups, including edtech companies such as Skillshare, an online platform with numerous classes to suit every taste, Coursera, a platform with courses from leading organizations and universities, and Brainly, a social network connecting students and experts for homework help. 

Startup accelerators in education & edtech

It’s never a bad idea to join an edtech startup accelerator, especially if there is such a variety of choices. Check out the following programs. 

LearnLaunch Accelerator, located in Boston, the US, offers a traditional accelerator program and a campus-based co-working space for edtech startups. Although the AWS Education Accelerator isn’t a traditional accelerator, it’s definitely worth mentioning. This 10-week program equips founders with AWS credits, technical training, and networking opportunities to help them build and scale their solutions on AWS. Australian edtech companies can benefit much from EduGrowth, an education technology and innovation industry hub that provides acceleration programs and networking opportunities. 

Education and edtech startup ecosystem

Given the cooling of edtech funding post-pandemic, it seems that news about edtech companies has almost vanished. Yet, it’s not quite so. Edtech startups have been as quietly busy as ants during the summer months. 

The total VC funding has dropped, but the early-stage remains resilient. More than 300 early-stage edtech startups have recently secured funds. Some notable examples include Loora, an AI-powered app for personalized English language coaching, which raised $21.25 million in funds, and CareerOS, an AI-powered platform for personalized career coaching and skill development, which won a $1.2 million funding round. 

Increasing angel activity drives the edtech market forward. Since the massive success of large deals during the pandemic, edtech VC funds have significantly tightened their spending. Compared to a staggering $20.80 billion secured by edtech startups in 2021, 2023 saw a sharp decline to just $2.97 billion. However, the good news is that edtech angel investors are becoming more active. For example, Edsoma, an AI-powered reading assistant for children, secured a $2.5 million seed round with Shaquille O’Neal as the lead investor. 

Seize the moment

Despite recent stagnation in VC funding, the edtech industry is gaining momentum due to AI and shifting consumer needs. Early-stage investors are convinced it’s a good time to support edtech startups. 
With a solid business plan and a compelling edtech startup pitch deck, you have all the chances to carve out a slice of education venture capital.

FAQs

What edtech startup grants are currently available, and how can I apply for them?

Some edtech startup grants include NSF SBIR/STTR Programs, which offer grants for developing innovative educational technologies. Applications are accepted year-round. IES SBIR Program provides SBIR grants to small businesses developing commercializable education technologies. The application period usually opens in January.

Which edtech conferences are essential for networking with potential investors?

The key edtech startup conferences are ASU+GSV Summit which is held annually in San Diego, showcasing the latest innovations in edtech, Bett Show, one of the largest edtech conferences globally, taking place in London, and ISTELive Conference & Expo, which is held in Denver and provides a platform for educators and tech innovators to collaborate and share ideas.

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Ruslana

CONTENT WRITER

Hello! I'm Ruslana, a Content Writer at Waveup. Based on my background in marketing research and business analytics, and my current collaboration with the savvy team at Waveup, I'm excited to share my insights and learnings with you.