Zurich-based Jacobs Foundation, which has deployed millions of dollars through edtech venture capital (VC) funds that invest worldwide, has called for a “culture shift” in the development of education technology products in India.
The foundation also urged edtech VC funds to make greater use of evidence in investment decision-making, after start-ups received a combined total of $4.7 billion in VC funding last year. Analysts predict that India’s edtech sector, currently valued at around $3 billion, will grow to $30 billion within the next 10 years.
“With dizzying amounts of investment pouring into the Indian edtech sector, we must not lose sight of what really matters: whether these new innovations truly benefit children’s learning,” said Fabio Segura and Simon Sommer, co-CEOs of the Jacobs Foundation.
MORE LIKE THIS…
“Today we are calling for a culture shift in edtech. The Indian investment and research communities should work together, and with partners around the world, to integrate more evidence in the development of edtech products. This will be a win-win for everyone," they said.
"Investors will make better decisions, start-ups collaborating with researchers will improve their products, and students will have access to edtech that benefits their learning. There is not a moment to lose for students disrupted by ,” they added.
To bridge the gap between learning science and edtech, the Foundation has committed CHF 40 million ($44 million) to three interlinking initiatives around the world. It has launched the Learning Edtech Impact Funds (LEIF), deploying CHF 30 million ($33 million) through leading edtech VC funds that are committed to investing in projects backed by .
MORE LIKE THIS…
These partner VC funds include BrightEye Ventures, Educapital, Learn Capital, New Markets Venture Partners, Reach Capital, Rethink Education, Sparkmind.vc, Owl Ventures, and Kaizenvest.
“At this historic juncture in education, we have an opportunity to shape technology’s impact on learning and schools,” said Marie-Christine Levet and Litzie Maarek, Founding Partners of Educapital.
“By combining our deep knowledge of the start-up ecosystem with researchers’ expertise in testing whether and how innovations truly benefit learning, we can ensure funding is directed towards innovations that will make a real difference in children’s learning,” they said.
The funds will work with the Jacobs Foundation’s newly launched edtech research centre at the University of California Irvine, Connecting the Edtech Research EcoSystem (CERES). CERES will collaborate with and produce cutting-edge scientific research into how children learn through technology.
Dr Gillian Hayes and Dr Candice Odgers, co-Leads of CERES at the University of California Irvine, said: “From AI to VR, edtech is an incredibly fast-growing field.
MORE LIKE THIS…
"We look forward to strengthening ties within the vibrant edtech ecosystem, in particular collaborating with investors and edtech companies to embed research into edtech development and evaluation. By working together, we will be able to truly capture edtech’s great promise.”
The Jacobs Foundation has awarded CERES a five-year CHF 10 million ($11 million) grant to bring together experts in computer science, human computer interaction, education, and psychology.