SOURCE: Owl Ventures

October 19, 2017 07:00 ET

Owl Ventures, EdTech VC, Raises $185M to Lead Education Innovation

Owl Ventures, an EdTech Focused Venture Capital Fund, Expands as U.S. Market Reaches Inflection Point and Global Market Rapidly Growing

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - October 19, 2017) - Owl Ventures, the leading investor in education technology, announced today that it closed $185 Million for its second fund. The capital will be used to lead investments in education technology startups that are harnessing the new wave of entrepreneurship and innovation across the education spectrum including early childhood, K-12, higher education and career mobility/professional learning.

"The explosion in access to technology, data and content in the education sector is historic," said Tory Patterson, Managing Director at Owl Ventures. "With connected devices in the hands of students and teachers, nearly ubiquitous Internet connectivity in schools and a global workforce powered by technology-driven productivity, education in every corner is being transformed by technology."

The market for education technology (EdTech) is rapidly growing and maturing in the United States:

The global education market estimated to be nearly $7 trillion and global adoption of EdTech is also on the rise. (source: National Center for Education Statistics)

"The education market is undergoing a massive digital revolution that is impacting the 1.5 billion learners worldwide," said Tom Costin, Partner at Owl Ventures. "This newfound technology infrastructure and digital adoption of EdTech platforms is now allowing companies to rapidly scale and build products that are being used by millions of students in countries around the world."

With its dedicated focus on EdTech, the Owl Ventures team has deep domain expertise that allows the firm to cultivate an elite and focused network of entrepreneurs, investors and strategic partners that are driven to improve education tools, technology, outcomes and share best practices and learnings across the portfolio. With its second fund, Owl Ventures built a global LP base across the U.S., Asia, Europe, Middle East and South America consisting of prestigious endowments, foundations, family offices, strategic education partners and a sovereign wealth fund. This valuable global LP base and network will help the firm and its companies across numerous functions including distribution, partnerships and deal sourcing.

The firm has been a major investor in many of the fastest growing companies in the EdTech market including Accelerate Learning, DreamBox Learning, Newsela, RaiseMe and Quizlet.

"We seek to partner with transformational companies that are solving large problems in education that have established product market fit and repeatable revenue models," said Amit Patel, Partner at Owl Ventures. "We play a very active role in helping our portfolio companies accelerate growth and strengthen their teams. We join the board of each portfolio company and consider ourselves embedded team members within the companies we support."

"Owl's knowledge of the needs of the K-12 and broader EdTech market is unparalleled," said Matt Gross, Founder and CEO of Newsela. "They share a vision with us and so many of the entrepreneurs that they support: that learning can be thrilling and meaningful, and that teaching can be more effective and satisfying, if the right tools are put in the hands of teachers and students. We are honored to work with them and excited that they'll be supporting the next generation of great education entrepreneurs."

Owl Ventures recently announced investments in Lingo Live, Piper and Tinkergarten that were made out of Owl Ventures II.

  • Lingo Live has provided live, online language and communication coaching to tens of thousands of employees across the globe at some of the world's largest companies, including Eventbrite, Google, Outbrain, and many others. https://www.lingolive.com/
  • Piper has engaged students at 1,000 plus schools globally in STEM education by giving them the chance to build and code their own computer. Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, said, "I love Piper because it represents what enabled me to do all the great technology things in my life." https://www.buildpiper.com/
  • Tinkergarten has created a technology platform that empowered instructors to run early learning play-based outdoor classes for 71,000 plus parents and kids in 48 states to develop a range of school readiness skills including self-reliance, creativity, persistence and grit, and problem solving. https://tinkergarten.com/

"With a keen focus on student outcomes and empowering educators with content, data and services Owl Ventures has identified the most exciting sector of our economy to match a powerful mission with remarkable capital returns," said Jed Smith, Managing Director at Owl Ventures. "We are hungry to partner with leading entrepreneurs who want to make a difference that will impact a generation."

About Owl Ventures
Owl Ventures is a San Francisco based venture capital fund that invests in the world's leading education technology companies. The team is laser-focused on the education market and takes a hands-on approach in helping entrepreneurs scale their businesses into transformative category leading companies. The firm has $285 million assets under management across two funds. http://www.OwlVC.com

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