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Edtech 2020: Funding surge, WhiteHat Jr-led coding growth, new unicorns, M&As, and more

With offline education facing a crisis of continuity, e-learning platforms stepped up to make the most of new opportunities in the sector. Edtech startups also raised record funding in 2020.

Nothing describes the state of edtech in 2020 more presciently than this Lenin quote, which was frequently shared in the initial months of the pandemic.  As the coronavirus outbreak shut schools, colleges, and other academic institutions globally, education was faced with its biggest crisis ever — the crisis of continuity. UNESCO estimates that by March-end, 80 percent of the world’s student population was impacted by school closures, forcing them to flock online to avoid interruptions in learning. In India, approximately 260 million students, a majority of them in the K-12 segment, were affected by the lockdown.

 As a result, migration to online platforms took place at a breakneck speed. From school curriculum, coaching centres and 1:1 private tuition classes to vocational education, supplementary and upskilling courses — everything moved online, and ‘edtech’ became the buzzword. Some indicative stats — between April and December 2020, ‘edtech’ searches gained 60 percent on the Indian internet, as per Google Trends. Searches for individual companies like BYJU’S, Vedantu, Toppr, and so on, gained even more. The frenzied activity on the consumer side was matched on the business side too. 

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