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Global Edtech Investment Surges to Record $7.3 Billion in 2016

According to a New Free Whitepaper by Metaari (formerly Ambient Insight), International Investments in Learning Technology Companies Reached Breathtaking Levels in 2016 (January 10, 2017)

SEATTLE, Jan. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- The investments made to learning technology companies in 2016 were the highest in the history of the learning technology industry. In 2016, global investments made to learning technology companies reached over $7.33 billion, up 12.1% from the previous record set in 2015 ($6.54 billion) and up dramatically from the previous records of $2.44 billion in 2014 and $1.64 billion in 2013, according to the new whitepaper by Metaari called "The 2016 Global Learning Technology Investment Patterns."

This marks the eighth time in the last 20 years that investment totals exceeded the billion dollar threshold and the first time in the history of the learning technology industry that investment reached the $7 billion threshold.

"We track learning technology markets and investment trends in 122 countries," reports Metaari's CEO and Chief Research Officer, Sam S. Adkins. "The most significant investment patterns in the learning technology industry in 2016 were the steep declines in funding going to legacy learning product companies and a spike in investments made to next-generation learning companies, particularly Simulation-based Learning and Game-based Learning companies."

The free 43-page whitepaper can be downloaded from:

There were seven trends that were clearly evident in the 2016 patterns:  a massive amount of funding (surpassing the historic record set in 2015), strong investor interest in consumer-facing companies, the continued flood of investment going to Chinese companies, the involvement global Internet giants that are now investing in edtech companies,  a dramatic spike in the investments made to companies in India, the second year of very weak investor activity in Brazil, and the clear investor preference for next-generation edtech suppliers.

"There is a myth that edtech investments in China are outpacing investments in the US. The evidence clearly shows otherwise.  The vast majority of learning technology investments in 2016 went to US companies," comments Adkins. "The 390 US learning technology companies that obtained funding in 2016 garnered $4.18 billion in combined investment. This is 58% of the total investments made in 2016. In comparison, investments made to companies in China reached $2.06 billion in 2016, which was 28% of the total global investments made in 2016. That said, it is striking that 86% of all investments made to learning technologies in 2016 went to companies in just two countries."

There was a sharp decline in investments going to legacy learning technology companies and a sharp uptick of investments made to the five types of next-generation learning products defined by Metaari: Simulation-based Learning, Game-based Learning, Cognitive Learning, Mobile Learning, and Robotic Tutors.

Investments in eLearning companies fell to $806 million in 2016, down precipitously from the $2.4 billion invested in these companies in 2015. Investments to Digital Reference-ware and Collaboration-based companies also declined sharply.

In contrast, investments made to Simulation-based Learning companies surged dramatically to $1.7 billion in 2016, up from $216 million in 2015. Investments made to Game-based Learning companies nearly quadrupled in 2016 compared to the year before and investments made to Cognitive Learning companies more than doubled in 2016 compared to the year before.

"One trend that has remained stable over the last five years is the growing investor interest in consumer-facing learning technology companies," adds Adkins. "A total of $2.86 billion was invested in consumer-facing learning technology suppliers in 2016. This is 39% of the total investments made to learning technology companies in 2016."

Thirty-four learning technology companies across the globe garnered investments amounts at or above $50 million in 2016, up from the twenty-five that raised $50 million or above in 2015. Twelve companies obtained $100 million or more in 2016, on par with the ten companies that garnered over $100 million in 2015.

"The market for an entirely new type of learning technology solidified in 2015 and 2016." says Adkins. "Education robots have been on the market for at least a decade, but the early products were very expensive and relatively primitive. That changed in the last 2-3 years with very sophisticated and relatively inexpensive robotic tutors hitting the market. Investments made to Robotic Tutor companies more than doubled in 2016 to $450 million, up from the $204 million invested in 2015 and up ten times from $45 million in 2014."

Media Contact: Sam Adkins, Ambient Insight, 360-805-4298,

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SOURCE Ambient Insight

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