Despite creaky markets, European edtech is showing its resilience

These are turbulent times. Given the circumstances, it’s hardly surprising that public markets are creaking and only niche sectors remain either unaffected or in a marginally positive position. Edtech is no exception.

Today, Brighteye Ventures published its Half Year European Edtech Funding report, built around Dealroom’s data. The report primarily focuses on investment activity in Europe but is contextualized with what we are seeing in other markets.

Global VC funding into edtech startups totaled $6.5 billion in H1 2022 compared to a total of $20.1 billion raised in 2021. This pullback in global funding can partially be explained by fewer edtech mega-rounds (over $100 million) in H1 2022 compared to previous periods.

The first half of 2022 saw 16 so-called mega-rounds, compared to 24 in the second half of 2021 and 30 in the first half of 2021. At the same time, the number of early-stage rounds, categorized as deals under $15 million, has fallen fairly consistently since a peak in H1 2018.

We expect the European edtech market to maintain some positive signs of resilience, but naturally, the ecosystem cannot be immune to the headwinds it faces.

Note that this doesn’t necessarily reflect lower activity in the ecosystem — it simply means that more early deals are being done by angels and via involvement with incubators and accelerators, which are not comprehensively covered in the data.

We were pleased to see that the European edtech ecosystem has managed to maintain most of its momentum, at least for the time being. The fact that the sector has secured $1.4 billion thus far in 2022, 40% more than a year earlier, demonstrates its resilience to maintain growth even amid challenging conditions.

This isn’t surprising given the inverse correlation between worsening macro employment markets and appetite for education, particularly in the market for post-18 education.