Fintech, biotech, legal tech, health tech, wealth tech: there is much to say about the various categories of 'everything tech'. For example, which existed first, fintech or biotech? Since when are sector designations in combination with the addition of 'tech' so popular? What is the most money about? More about all this another time.

In the spotlight: edtech

In this blog, the focus is on a specific 'tech' that will be in the spotlight in early 2022: edutech or edtech, short for educational tech or technology. It is listed on Euronext Amsterdam investment fund Prosus raised 300 million euros in growth capital from its investors (including well-known names such as the Chinese Tencent and the Japanese SoftBank Vision Fund) for the benefit of the Austrian online tutoring platform GoStudent. Edtech is suddenly in the spotlight worldwide. A brief introduction.

In a press release, Prosus calls its investment 'the first European edtechunicorn', or the first fast-growing education-technology group with a value of more than one billion euros. Prosus values GoStudent at 3 billion euros. That's not bad for a platform that brings together supply and demand in the field of tutoring. For 2021, GoStudent had set a goal to be an intermediary in monthly minimum 800,000 tutoring sessions (including in the Netherlands).

Digitization of education

In principle, Edtech can be anything. The word is used to capture trends in the digitization of education, and as a label for companies that are active in the digitization of education. A party that replaces chalkboards in schools with digital boards or books with e-books and tablets can therefore be called an edtech company.

The word is mainly used to indicate innovative online software applications in education. In recent corona years, educational institutions have switched en masse to online education. Although software solutions do not necessarily have to come from outsiders (in particular higher education institutions invest a lot in their own software), disruptive solutions often come from outsiders in the industry. Who could have predicted in 2018 that in 2022 services such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Google Classroom would have large market shares in education?

Disruptive software

Two types of software stand out in particular. Companies such as GoStudent – or take a look at Goconqr – bring supply and demand together via an online platform. Just as Marktplaats or Facebook bring consumers together, more and more useful, often disruptive initiatives are emerging in the field of B2B (from company to company) or B2C (from company to consumer).

The rise of the cloud – everything online! – has caused a major acceleration in this trend, also for a number of Dutch parties. E-Wise, for example, a provider of digital education from Utrecht, has been around for several years now in the FD Gazellen list for fastest growing companies in the Netherlands. The company offers refresher courses (for teachers, civil-law notaries and tax specialists, among others) through a all you can eat subscription model.

Gamification

A second type of companies are software companies that add something new to digital education. For example, there is the Norwegian Kahoot. This Oslo-listed company does gamification: learn while playing. In the Netherlands there is again reminder: a company that teaches teachers and students to deal with learning material in a smarter way. Edtech, dear reader, is hot!