Web 2.0 is upon us and it has brought inventive and disruptive social networks to us like Facebook and Twitter, and for social networks the big players have emerged and further disruption is unlikely. Ello, the anti-ad social network, is trying but will, at best, grow and exit to the big boys.
Education technology is still relatively immature albeit older than social networks. Still in 2014, no one knows exactly how things are going to play out. There are a lot of problems facing those brave teams trying to disrupt 200 year old institutions in this nuanced market. But investors and entrepreneurs are sure that the education landscape will change drastically in the near future and that some oligarchs are sure to emerge.
Here is a list of some possible future market titans:
Lynda.com – A lot of edtech conversation focuses on edtech newcomers with new unproven business models but Lynda.com boasts over 2 million subscribers and over $100 million in revenues.
Knewton – Knewton is a very interesting company and quite possibly ahead of their time. Knewton recognizes that the education industry is nuanced and embraces it. They are trying to develop artificial intelligence to give a personalized lesson plan for each of the students.
TutorGroup – Another company that isn’t necessarily doing anything revolutionary or disruptive but has been wildly successful. If investment rounds are a metric you use to decide on a company’s future then this might be the next industry behemoth. TutorGroup just received a $100 round of funding in part from Alibaba.
General Assembly – General Assembly has done well focusing on training students for practical, in demand jobs. They use a hybrid approach with both in class and on-line learning.
Coursera and MOOC’s – Are Massive Open Online Courses the answer to the edtech problem? Maybe. Coursera is the aggregating behemoth for MOOCs and has seen steady growth. What’s great about Coursera is that students can earn certificates.
Where and what are you going to learn?