Lightspeed’s Edtech Portfolio

Part II of my 2021 Edtech Outlook. Part I here.

In Part I, I wrote about where we’ve been and where we might be going in edtech. I thought I’d take a step back and share how we look at edtech at Lightspeed and how some of the trends we’re interested in have made it into our edtech portfolio at Lightspeed.

Given that we’re beginning to have a sizable education portfolio at Lightspeed, I wanted to share how we think about the sector and the companies in our portfolio.

I view the edtech sector as everything involved in the lifelong learning journey that begins when we are infants with early childhood education (ECE) and continues through old age.

Over a year ago I wrote about my “Future of Workers” thesis including my perspective on everything from higher education onward in the lifelong learning journey. We use the phrase “The Future of Workers” as distinct from the “Future of Work” which includes a focus on the software and tools we use to do work versus the companies enabling workers to get a job and the career lifecycle.

Below is a quick highlight of some of the current edtech companies in our US portfolio.

We also invested in Clark (acquired by Noodle), Orbis Education (acquired by Grand Canyon Education), and TutorVista (acquired by Pearson, BYJUs).

In China and India we are also investors in edtech startups including #LeleGlobal, SparkEducation, Putao, TenFen, FanDeng, KangarooMama, Teachmint, and more (some soon to be announced)!

K-12

Clever — We invested in the Series B of Clever in 2014. Here’s the announcement from Edsurge at the time — the company had 30k schools then.

Outschool — We invested in the Series B of Outschool, the live online marketplace of group classes, in 2020. Here’s my colleague Alex’s announcement post.

BYJUs — We invested in the Series C round in 2016. Here’s an announcement from a few months after we invested.

Career Mobility

Handshake — We first invested in Handshake’s seed round in 2015. Here’s an announcement about their Series A in 2016.

Multiverse (fka Whitehat) — We invested in the $4M seed round of Multiverse in 2018. My partner Nakul Mandan wrote this post about our investment. Here’s their blog post announcing the investment.

Forage — We invested in the $9.3M Series A of Forage earlier in 2020. I wrote this post about our investment.

Flockjay — We invested in the seed and Series A rounds of Flockjay. My partner Alex Taussig wrote about the seed investment in Oct 2019. Here’s another announcement about their latest round.

Corporate Hiring & Training

Terminal — We invested in the Series A round in 2018. Here’s an announcement from that year.

Betterup — We led the Series B in 2018 and invested the $103M Series C in June 2019. This was my Partner Will Kohler’s announcement post. Here’s a Techcrunch article from that year.

Eightfold — We led their seed round in July 2016. Here was my partner Peter Nieh’s recent 2020 update about the company ahead of their Series D, unicorn announcement.

If you’re a founder building the next generation of edtech companies, I would love to hear from you. Reach out anytime at mbent@lsvp.com

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