Edtech exits show a need for better plumbing

The world’s massive experiment with remote learning has done more than emphasize the cracks in the way we learn. It’s brought much needed attention and capital to potential solutions.

But it’s not just investors who are flurrying to the space; edtech incumbents are taking notice, too. Recent acquisitions show that edtech’s growth spurt is forcing incumbents to think bigger and scoop talent along the way.

India edtech giant Byju encapsulates how to strategize around momentum. In June, the company raised money at a $10.5 billion valuation. It currently leads India’s online edtech market. Days later, TechCrunch learned that the company is in talks to acquire two-year-old education learning app Doubtnut for $125 million.

It’s because Doubtnut has a hold in a place that Byju doesn’t: smaller, localized towns and villages within India. While Byju might be a household name within India’s larger cities, the buy could help it expand to smaller markets.

There’s also Docsity’s recent spree of buys. The global e-learning startup, which launched in 2010 to serve Italian students, is a social network for professionals and students. In early July, it announced plans to buy two edtech companies: Estudar Com Você, based in Brazil, and Koofers, based in the U.S.

Estudar com Você, founded in 2015 and nicknamed “Brazilian Khan Academy” sells video lessons and text-based explanations for students in Brazil. Docsity bought the upstart to broaden its offering to its largest market, Brazil, and introduce video content for colleges to its curriculum.