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January Cartoon

Happy New Year! As we begin 2020, we discuss how learning must change to thrive in tomorrow's world, the Chinese EdTech landscape as well as highlighting 2019's performance in the sector. The report aims to provide you with a bite-sized summary of what is happening in the world of learning and training.

Now & Next
Global All Stars
market roundup
Valuation Benchmarks
M&A v3-1




The key trends impacting education and training today

Refracting Learning to Thrive Tomorrow
By Carla Aerts, Tmrw Institute

Refract: VERB [WITH OBJECT] (of water, air, or glass) make (a ray of light) change direction when it enters at an angle.

We live in an oxymoron; the promise of technology and science being contrasted by huge challenges of climate change, AI, automation, and depletion of resources, to name but a few. Our world is poised for the future, it always has been, but never as much as today. Yet education concerned with preparing learners for the future, continues to hark back to the past.

The Industrial Revolution relied on a skilled, yet highly standardised workforce for its mechanistic production processes at scale. Enter the Prussian education model of instruction and an approach of one fits all, highly effective and fit for purpose to serve the pressing needs of this transformative era in the history of humanity.

Fast forward around 200 years. The world is totally different, yet in education, not much appears to have changed. Classrooms and lecture theatres still look pretty similar. The blackboard may have changed colour, but pedagogies or didactic approaches don’t appear to have evolved much. More often than not, these still rely on the provision of instruction, rather than the promotion of learning, mastery and insight in one’s learning.

Whilst technological storms and digital disruption rage, the revolution appears to have stopped at the school gate. At best, digitisation has made a rather hesitant, yet cumbersome entry, built on models of retrofit, rather than transformation or innovation. A rather poor start for technology to be meaningful and allow for augmentation of teaching and learning.

To thrive, today’s learners will need to be able to tackle increasing complexity and uncertainty in a digital world. They will need to learn, unlearn and relearn and gain insight in their own learning. This requires an ability to construct knowledge to be able to apply it, engage in critical thinking and reflection and bring creativity to problem-solving in inter-disciplinary and multi-cultural contexts. Knowledge alone is no longer suffices. Refraction of learning and an ability to apply will be fundamental to deal with the challenges of an uncertain world.

Those who will thrive, will be the learners that can construct, apply and refract their learning as well as be refracted by it, their teachers and their peers.




 Learn how innovators of today are shaping the edtech of tomorrow.

EdTechX Holdings Announce Landmark EdTech Transaction in China

EdTechX Holdings, the world’s first listed EdTech SPAC has announced it’s first landmark transaction in an agreement with Meten Education and its digital platform Likeshuo, worth $535 million.

The new entity, Meten EdTechX, will focus on providing English and future skills training for the growing market of students and young professionals in China. Meten EdTechX also plans to raise up to $100m of development capital in conjunction with the closing of the transaction to fund ambitious growth plans. This includes market consolidation in China and the roll-out of Meten’s existing omnichannel distribution platform, which combines digital delivery and strategic retail presence, across over 600 cities in China. 

Meten, headquartered in Shenzhen in the heart of the Chinese Silicon Valley, is a market leader in ELT (English Language Training) in China, with a #1 position in the adult ELT segment (source: Frost & Sullivan). They have grown rapidly and profitably to reach $200m in revenue. (RMB 1,424m) in revenue and $20.1 million (RMB 144m) in EBITDA in 2018, up from $113.9 million (RMB 802m) in revenue and $2.4 million (RMB 17.1m) in EBITDA in 2016, representing a 2-year revenue CAGR of 33% and 2-year EBITDA CAGR of 190%. The new group expects to at least double in size by the end of 2021. 

The ELT market in China is expected to grow to $43 billion in 2022, according to research by Citibank. This growth is driven by the growing expenditure on education, urbanisation as well as the increasing importance of English language and technology development. The private education market in China is already large (US $20 Billion) and is growing at 9% annually. As more urban Chinese middle class’ aspiration for their own career and their children’s academic success continues to amplify, it unleashes large consumer spend and investment opportunities for the education and life long learning markets in China. Demand for tutoring, ELT job-oriented upskilling, is growing at a double-digit rate. Meten EdTechX will operate at the heart of this with a market-leading position within English Language Training.





A global snapshot of the edtech market

Market Roundup Logos
Pre K12 & K12 header3
beyond the test
edtech 2020 - two
technology amplifies teaching
higher education v3
Americans' view of higher ed has changed
Italian academics fear return to old policies
4 biggest challenges to Higher Ed
Corporate Training v2
EdTechX Holdings annoucement
Finland considers four day week
Jobs must be redesigned




Summary on mergers, acquisitions and fundraising


The Top M&A Deals of 2019 >

Ultimate Software


universidad alfonso x el sabio

Top Fundraisers of 2019 >
GEMS education chegg
china fundraisingPluralsight

tal fundraising

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Valuation Benchmarks

Summary of transactions and fundraising activity

education industry 2019 snapshot
valuatino benchmark 2

2019 Education M&A: Regional Split


1: This excludes the acquisition of Ultimate Software ($11bn)
2:Penetration is measured by the proportion of EdTech M&A to total education M&A
3: This index includes: ASX:3PL, NasdaqCM:ABCD, NasdaqGS:BLKB, NYSE:CHGG, Nasdaq:CSOD, NasdaqGS:HMHC, NYSE:INST, NYSE:LRN, LSE:PSON, NasdaqCM:TWOU, NYSE:TYL

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