Shared Insight: EdTech's Massive Growth In The UK

Shared Insight: EdTech's Massive Growth In The UK

EdTech is a rapidly growing sector in the UK, with recent research finding that the global EdTech market will be worth $404 billion by 2025. The main factor contributing to EdTech's meteoric rise is organisations around the world striving to promote education technology in schools to address disparities in the education system and to prepare students for an increasingly digital future.

The Covid-19 pandemic also has a part to play. Pandemic restrictions hugely increased the demand for sophisticated online learning tools, and the EdTech sector continues to grow even as in-person lessons resume. In November's Shared Insight we'll look at the different types of EdTech and how some of the top 10 EdTech companies in the UK are revolutionising education.

Shared Insight: EdTech's Massive Growth In The UK

Defining EdTech

The term 'EdTech' covers a wide range of products and services, and refers to the use of technology in education, from the public and private education sectors to lifelong learning and continuing professional development.

EdTech supports blended learning and completely online learning and can even branch into extended reality (XR).

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

Virtual reality is an immersive technology that places the user in a virtual environment, where they can move around, interact with others, and learn. In EdTech, VR can be used in classrooms for science experiments, virtual field trips, and immersive simulations.

Meanwhile, augmented reality lets users interact with virtual objects that appear in their physical environment. In EdTech, students might use digital overlays to follow instructions for difficult tasks, such as performing a medical procedure and fixing a complex machine.

Ranked #10 on Beauhurst's list of the Top 10 EdTech Companies in the UK, MEL Science produces chemistry kits that are designed to teach science to children in a safe, immersive, and engaging way. They are available on a subscription basis, and as well as providing VR-mode studies via a mobile app, the kits also come with chemical reagents and visual step-by-step instructions.

The company has raised £22.8 million in equity investments across five funding rounds so far, the most recent being £3.81 million for a 6.2% stake.

MEL Science have also won multiple awards, including BETT Innovator of the Year 2020, and EdTech Digest's Cool Tool Award (for Best VR/AR Solution).

Blended Learning

Also known as hybrid learning, blended learning is a style of education that combines technology and digital media with traditional instructor-led classroom activities, giving students more flexibility to create a more bespoke learning experience.

Blended learning companies create EdTech products that improve and aid in classroom-based learning, and EdTech company Fuse is just one example, and was ranked #8 on Beauhurst's list.

Fuse has developed EdTech software that lets employees share knowledge in their workplace. The company's platform combines AI, machine learning, and design tools to learn from senior employees. Fuse also helps companies create internal instructional videos.

The company was founded in 2008 and has raised £25.4 million in equity investment over 7 funding rounds. Their most recent investment round was completed in July 2023, and this £1.37 million investment was in exchange for a 0.1% stake in the business.

Distance Learning

Distance learning boomed in the COVID-19 pandemic and involves individuals studying and learning from home. Companies in this sub-sector of EdTech are connected by a focus on developing technologies that pose solutions to the challenges of remote teaching and learning.
Distance learning technologies can take multiple forms, such as physical technologies (e.g. build-your-own kits), audio/video-based learning (like online classes and podcasts), or computer-based technologies (such as collaborative learning workplaces.

Ranked #7 on Beauhurst's list, Administrate is a company that has developed business management software for clients that run business training services. Training providers can use the platform to automate and manage the whole learning process from one location.

The company was founded in Edinburgh in 2007, and has secured 15 funding rounds so far, raising £26.4 million in equity and loan investment. The software provider has also received £656k in R&D grant funding in 2017, as part of the Scottish Enterprises Enterprise & Integration Transformation programme.

Online Learning Platforms

Also known as e-learning, online learning platforms come under the umbrella of distance learning, where students learn over the internet. Companies that create online learning platforms develop web spaces for educational content, providing students with information all in one place, from lectures to study materials and the ability to interact with their classmates.

MyTutor ranked #6 on Beauhurst's list and is an online learning platform for students looking to find tutors for online lessons. The platform connects students to online tutorials, interactive whiteboards, and collaborative tools like simultaneous document viewing.

The company was incorporated in 2013 and has raised £28.8 million in equity funding over seven funding rounds. British fund Mobeus and Australian fund SEEK recently raised £15.2 million in September 2021. Two months later, MyTutor then acquired another EdTech company, Fire Tech Camp for its coding and tech training platform, strategically expanding its service offering.

Shared Insight: EdTech's Massive Growth In The UK

Just How Big is EdTech in the UK?

According to government figures, the UK has the biggest EdTech sector in Europe, with 'unrivalled expertise' in areas such as augmented/virtual reality, AI, and online education. The UK is therefore seen as a global hotspot for the EdTech industry.

The number of EdTech firms in the UK exceeded 1,000 for the first time in 2022, and schools have spent over a £1 billion on digital learning tools in the past five years, illustrating the necessity and demand for EdTech products and services.

Furthermore, in 2022 the Digital Economy Council released data that showed the UK's EdTech industry is one of the fastest growing in Europe and is on track to be worth over £3.4 billion by the end of 2023. The rapid growth of EdTech makes it an exciting sector to invest in, whether you are seeking to expand your current business in the education sector or to diversify your service offering.

The businesses listed in Beauhurst's Top 10 EdTech Companies in the UK illustrate not only the growth of the EdTech sector but how innovative it is. As a company that prides itself on innovation, GS Verde Group is encouraging further growth in the sector through our multidiscipline dealmaking and supporting EdTech business leaders in their growth plans.

To find out more about how the EdTech sector has grown in 2023, you can read last year's report on the sector here.

You can learn more about how to seek investment for your EdTech business and how we can help you raise funding here. Or if you would like to learn how we can support you through the M&A process, visit our Buy A Business or Sell A Business pages.



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