Horizons Newsletter – week 5 // 2022
Education has long been a sector that lagged in the adoption of technology, but the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the shift to online learning. When breaking down funding by vertical, the biggest increases during the pandemic are in consumer-facing tech and school-focused solutions.
European Edtech companies are on the rise
Education has long been a sector that lagged in the adoption of technology, but the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the shift to online learning. According to edtech research company HolonIQ, in 2021, worldwide venture capital investment tripled compared to pre-pandemic investment levels (from $7.0 billion in 2019 to $20.8 billion in 2021). Europe saw the biggest rise as generalist investors started entering the market, contributing to larger funding rounds. When breaking down funding by vertical, the biggest increases during the pandemic are in consumer-facing tech and school-focused solutions. Consumer-facing tech benefits from the trend for lifelong learning and people being bound at home (examples are online driving school Ornikar and language learning app Lingoda, both having completed large funding rounds). Meanwhile, to enable schools to shift to online education, many startups offered their solutions free during the crisis and consequently saw their user numbers jump (e.g. tutoring platform GoStudent, content learning platform Odilo). However, as the European education market is country-oriented and most countries are relatively small, startups must expand to other markets in order to grow. Parties that offer scalable solutions are particularly likely to be viable.
Broaden Your Horizons
- In this WIRED longread, a historian of quarantines insists that to ensure future pandemics end sooner than the current one, we should no longer look to our distant past for pandemic control. Instead, we should study this pandemic, since it was the first where we had so many tools to battle a virus.
- Lucas Shaw puts podcasting in a new perspective in this Bloomberg article, describing how despite the enormous investments in podcast productions in recent years, new shows have a hard time finding an audience. The number of new podcasts has grown more quickly than the podcast audience, and so the number of listeners per show is going down.
- In this analysis, Rock Health shows that while the pandemic gave healthcare funding a boost, beneath the funding frenzy proof can be found of bigger shifts within the sector’s infrastructure, business models, and talent pool.
The end of combustion engines
With European electric vehicle (EV) sales overtaking those of diesel cars for the first time last December, the end of the internal combustion engine might actually be closer than you think. An interplay of various factors spurs the transition from combustion engine car to EV. First, European governments are pushing back on the combustion engine by proposing a combustion engine sales ban in 2035 and heavily subsidizing EVs. More recently, France passed a law requiring car advertisements to tell people not to drive a car. Additionally, established carmakers are increasingly investing in EVs: Toyota and VW, each selling 10-11 cars for every Tesla sold, laid out plans to invest $170 billion in the EV industry. Finally, the infrastructure around EVs is maturing. Shell has already started to transform gas stations into all-electric vehicle charging hubs and technological improvements decrease charging time and increase charging capacity. This improved infrastructure could eliminate one of the biggest inconveniences for EV owners: range anxiety. Together, governmental support programs, huge industry investments and a maturing EV infrastructure indicate that mass adoption of EVs is around the corner.
Horizons is a bi-monthly Dasym Research initiative to show you how the Dasym themes have been in the news. We publish the Horizons on our website and as an email newsletter. If you wish to receive the email, sign up here.
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