EdTech is penetrating and impacting segments across K12, HigherEd, Skilling, Future of Work (HRTech) and more. From kindergarten to the workplace, the new breed of edtech founders are identifying the need for an innovative tech solution that caters to the vivid learning needs of the respective user base and segment. But with the surging number of innovations in the edtech industry, the players are also experiencing cutthroat competition.
EdTech and upskilling have become necessary for students and working professionals and a primary element for big enterprises to retain their work base. The increasing inclination towards skilling is evident in the rising number of investments and increasing users across skilling platforms for professionals, co-curricular learning providers, language learning platforms, test prep companies and more.
India’s edtech sector is one of the largest in the world. The edtech startups from the country operating across more than seven sub-sectors, including test prep, K-12, and edtech SaaS, among others, have raised $10.13 billion between 2014 and 2022.
The pandemic-led boom in 2021 made edtech the most-funded startup segment in India, with a total funding of $4.73 billion. Then came the funding winter of 2022, where we saw a steep downfall and the edtech startups could only raise $2.64 billion. The industry is anticipated to reach US$ 4 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 39.77%.
There has been a rising demand for edtech from tier II & III cities, and edtech is expected to make learning personalised for every learner. Blume EdTech Report 2022 estimates US$ 2.7 billion focused on K–12 (Kindergarten to Class 12), Test-prep, co-curricular and extracurricular.
EdTechReview identified many potential EdTech trends for the year 2023. We reached out to edtech founders serving different sub-segments of the edtech industry to explore how they view these trends, their predictions and to understand what are some of the challenges facing the edtech industry in 2023.
EdTech Trends, Predictions and Challenges in Early Education
We see activity-based learning flourishing in early education for 2023. In line with NEP 2023, edtechs will continue to innovate and develop solutions catering to inquiry-based learning. Perhaps, tech solutions that provide STEAM learning, multi-level gamification, offer flexibility and can be used with a hybrid approach will come to light. There will be a sustained focus on helping kids develop skills rather than just do well in academics. Holistic solutions like Kutuki have been setting the benchmark in early education for some time. We will witness more such platforms coming on the surface aligned with the holistic development of the kids, focusing on academics, play learning and skill development.
Further, we have inputs from Amitt Agrawwal from OckyPocky, who mentions a three-way wholesome product solution that loops the parent, including vernacular interactive products capable of measuring performance and capturing feedback for the curious explorers will be seen in 2023.
Basil B Thoppil, Co-Founder of Kriya Live, identifies AI and gamification products as emerging trends. Change in the Growth/revenue model will be evident in the social/community/product-driven model. The biggest challenge will remain to educate parents on the importance of early years as most parents are too careless about the opportunity. Building trust with the parents will be challenging for edtech providers amid hitting saturation in solutions.
EdTech Trends, Prediction and Challenges in K12
K12 edtech is the largest segment in education technology. The global K12 Education Technology market is projected to reach US$ 71820 million by 2028 from an estimated US$ 18830 million in 2022, at a CAGR of 25.0% during 2023 and 2028.
It seems k12 edtech has a magnitude of opportunities ahead. With schools working the conventional way along with the tech, we see hybrid edtech models becoming the standard in 2023. Additionally, there will be a focus on teacher training for innovative pedagogies and ICT implementation.
Digitisation of schools beyond tier 1 cities will surface, and edtech for special needs students will boom. Additionally, vernacular and hybrid learning models will grow in 2023. Since we are back to the “standard normalcy”, edtech providers who offer hybrid solutions will see the light.
Nielsen’s Bharat 2.0 Study reports a 45 per cent growth in the number of active internet users since 2019. This is primarily driven by rural India coming online. Amongst this section of the population, vernacular languages predominate, and this customer base will propel the next phase of growth in edtech. Hence, we can look forward to innovations and fund dumping in vernacular play.
We also have a lot of k12 edtech founders who share their views, challenges and predictions. Some of them are:
Pankaj Agarwal, CEO, TagHive, mentions of Bluetooth Clickers making space in the classroom for an enhanced learning experience. Adding to the list of trends, Suman Matcha, CEO of Sunitha Info Vision, mentions skill-based learning and STEAM education as the emerging trends for 2023 in the k12 edtech space.
Sneha Biswas, Founder & CEO of Early Steps Academy, define the challenges, mentioning acquiring customers at an affordable cost, building user trust and showing outcomes in learning will be the critical challenges for the k12 edtech space. Pankaj Agarwal, CEO, TagHive, adds that Partnerships and Market Fragmentation will be critical challenges for edtech players in the k12 space.
Ravi Bhushan, Founder & CEO, BrightChamps, identifies the adoption of hybrid learning models, including Metaverse-based experiences and Extended Reality (XR) technologies, as the key trends for 2023 that will elevate learning experiences and outcomes for kids, including those with special learning needs. Transformation in how students are evaluated and rewarded for their performances will also come to the surface.
Ravi also predicts seeing conventional classrooms transforming into tech centres and hubs of learning with technologies such as AI, AR/VR, audio-visual aids, and Metaverse offering students superior learning experiences globally. According to him, the biggest challenges will be resistance to change from practitioners and the fear of high competition among edtech players.
Akash Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, eduTinker sees untethered tech support, flexible learning spaces and virtual & augmented reality-immersed learning in subject matter as the emerging trends for 2023 in the k12 edtech space. He mentions that in 2023, it’s anticipated that the untethered classroom, where kids are not dependent on fixed devices, will become more common. Or, we will witness students using virtual reality (VR) tools that enable them to interact in three dimensions with virtual items, including portions of the human body, the solar system, the layers of the Earth, and volcanoes.
Sonia Notani, Co-founder & CEO BrainGymJr Education, shares the need for interactive, byte-sized learning and learning through storytelling as the key trend for 2023. Additionally, she predicts digital micro-learning for building literacy & numeracy as a definite space k12 players would explore.
There’d be a shift from instruction-based to application-based learning, with edtech players moving to digitise the value chain, going beyond just the teaching medium. Along with the cutthroat competition, rationalisation will be the biggest challenge for k12 edtech players in 2023.
EdTech Trends, Prediction and Challenges in Higher Education
EdTech has a significant role in higher education as it bridges the existing skill gap. According to Redseer, a management consultancy and market research firm, the online higher education and lifelong learning market within the Indian edtech space is predicted to surpass $5 billion by 2025, supported by the relaxation of laws regulating degrees. There has been a constant focus on skill development for students and professionals for some time, especially after we see AI automating most functionalities.
We see skilling as a part of higher education as the key trend in 2023, and the pertinent challenge will be cutthroat competition among edtech providers in the sector. The intersection of higher education and upskilling course providers for students would work best on higher education institutions and course providers coming together on one platform providing hybrid learning opportunities for students. This approach also addresses the concern of availability, expanding the reach and enabling youth to learn and get skilled.
Hemant Sahal, Founder & CEO, CollPoll, highlights multi-disciplinary, flexible programmes and universities launching online degrees as the trends to look out for in 2023. He further predicts that the higher education sector will become highly technology-driven, be it content, assessments, admissions or operations. Adding to the insights, Jaideep Gupta – Founder & CEO of UNIVARIETY, define key trends as AI and virtual means for imparting education and management. Data will play a huge role. Further, solution-based approaches rather than service-based models will gain popularity in 2023.
The challenges include change management, talent sourcing, and rising complexity because of NEP. Backward integration by colleges and universities where they develop their in-house solutions will also be a difficulty for most universities and edtech providers.
Trends, Predictions and Challenges in EdTech Investments and Education Financing
The edtech industry witnessed a steep rise in 2021 that looked like pandemically induced growth. The year 2022 showed a significant drop. Indian edtech startups raised $2.64 billion in 2022, 44.18% less than the $4.73 billion raised in 2021. Another reflection is apparent in the late-stage funding in edtech, marked 48.15% to $1.97 billion in 2022 from $3.8 billion in 2021. Edtech was one of the few sectors that saw a decline in funding across all startup stages.
We believe that edtech investments will rise this year, and we will witness fund tractions, especially in the skilling sector.
Adding to our trends, Pankaj Agarwal, CEO, TagHive, predicts that the k12 edtech sector will see north of $5B in VC investments in 2023.
In the education financing segment, players have come to the surface to ensure that the rising cost of school and college education doesn’t come in the way of students and parents who want quality education. As per Blume Edtech Report 2022, the estimated market size for school financing is $140 million and for college financing, $170 million.
The emerging trend we are looking at includes partnership-led GTM optimised distribution channels via school/college partnerships and NBFC Partnerships where tie-ups with NBFCs will help build a good loan book size, enabling becoming an NBFC in the future – allowing for sustainable margins.
Mujtaba Wani, Principal, GSV Ventures, predicts consolidation and proliferation of offerings will continue to compound. Mayank Batheja, Founder of Credenc, indicates that a more standardised template will be followed in edtech financing for short-term loans. Study-abroad loans will become more digital, and domestic large-ticket loans are becoming a reality. Additionally, he mentions that captive financing by education and edtech companies will gain more popularity.
The critical challenges in 2023 for education financing will be the limited low cost of funds and quantum of supply with regulations.
Trends, Predictions and Challenges in Upskilling and Career Development
The Wheebox India Skills Report (ISR) 2023 suggest that compared with last year’s employability figures of 46.2%, 50.3% of young people were highly employable. Following the surge, there has been a rise in the demand for upskilling opportunities and provisions. Edtech has been a critical player in the upskilling sector. Skilling institutions have launched online and hybrid models to increase their reach, and people globally can learn as per their preferences.
Verticalised skilling and Vernacular play in the upskilling industry will rise in the year 2023. Since there has been a sustained focus on skilling, introducing vernacular into the upskilling sector will ensure reach and accessibility. For instance, Kochi-based Avodha offers coding, mobile mechanics, marketing, accounting, and more courses in Tamil and Malayalam.
Blended learning is an emerging trend that will see normalcy, as per Ashwin Damera, CEO of Emeritus. One prediction he shares is the increased availability of quality courses on AI and ML.
Shantanu Rooj, Founder and CEO at TeamLease EdTech, mentions that employed professionals seeking an upgradation of their skillsets will be the emerging trend in upskilling/career development for 2023. He also predicts universities and other HEIs will be actively interested in the skilling sector.
Onkar Sonawane, Training Partner with Jetking Infotrain, defines training graduates aligned with industry trends as the key trends in the sector. Cybersecurity as a lucrative career opportunity is the prediction for 2023, as with huge data play and digital advancements; cybersecurity becomes prime.
Jayakumar Balasubramanian, Director, Emertxe Information Technologies, mentions private players partnering with academia, professionals making investments in upskilling, and Full Stack skills will gain more importance in the upskilling & career development space for 2023.
The biggest challenges predicted in the space include client acquisition costs as the number of service providers rises, and a downfall in available tech jobs will be evident.
We recommend reading this piece on Upskilling and Reskilling Market, it’s future and challenges.
Trends, Predictions and Challenges in Career Guidance & Discovery
Career Guidance Industry Landscape India 2021 reports a talent deficit of 85.2 million workers by 2030 in India. It also predicts India to have a skilled labour surplus of 245.3 million workers by 2030. The country’s rural youth lack the cultural capital, access to information and the urban medium of instruction. Also, every year only 10-15% out of over 3 million regular graduates/postgraduates are considered employable by the industry.
Along with the focus on skilling, training and development, career counselling will be gaining popularity through edtech services as the youth is facing unemployment despite being qualified. The primary concern is the unavailability of career counselling services leading to qualified but not skilled human resources. Hence, to bridge the gap, we see career guidance becoming a vital element for students getting into higher education and schools providing the opportunity to understand students’ options. Schools partnering with career guidance providers will be evident in the year 2023.
Nimish Gopal, Founder & CEO of, CareerNaksha, says there will be the availability of trained/certified counsellors locally in 2023. He also predicts career guidance & discovery becoming mainstream at tier 1 & tier 2 schools. Contributing to the insights, Sriram Subramanian, Co-founder of Callido Learning, mentions the rise of private universities and the growth of experiential career discovery as a primary category in the edtech career guidance sector.
The biggest challenge for players in this domain will be the unavailability of unbiased counselling not influenced by coaching/consultancies and customer acquisition costs in the career guidance sector for 2023.
Trends, Predictions and Challenges in Future of Work
With EdTech and HRTech intersecting for continuous learning and upskilling for the workforce, we believe that continuous learning opportunities through eLearning will prevail. Enterprises will deploy tech solutions that streamline human resource functionalities and have room for employee learning and skilling.
PWC’s HRTech Survey 2022 reports that most organisations prefer to use HR technology to “succeed in future work “. Other emerging trends like hybrid working, flexibility, employee well-being, and DEIB compliance will redefine the future workspace.
Further, Ankit Aggarwal, Founder & CEO of Unstop, outlines future workspaces as more diverse and well-equipped. He further mentions that focusing on gender equality and greater use of AI and Automation will make the workspaces more efficient and better.
He predicts Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as crucial elements in the workspace in 2023. “Companies are working on releasing policies that create a welcoming environment for everyone, regardless of gender. This will keep growing in the coming years because the younger generation is creating conversations about the importance of having an inclusive workplace and environment in general.”, he says.
Trends, Predictions and Challenges in Study Abroad
As per the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), over 13 lakh Indian students are studying abroad, with the most significant number (4.65 lacks) pursuing higher studies in America as of 2022. Canada and the UK were among the top preferred study-abroad places for Indian students in 2022. However, The Canadian government has rejected over 50% of visa applications in the recent past.
For 2023, we can see students picking Australia as their prime study-abroad option. UK and USA will also see higher traction of students compared to the year gone by.
Additionally, Indian students will continue to prefer STEM courses, and we can also expect a massive tick in non-STEM areas like hospitality, healthcare, and tourism.
Apart from USA and UK, YVSRao, Director, Brainstorm Consulting, identifies Canada as a study abroad preference for Indian students in 2023, despite the large visa rejection in the past. He also predicts that USA and UK will see a growth of about 15-20 per cent as preferred study destinations. The biggest challenge will be VISA slots for the USA applicants and identifying and handling forged university documents.
With the new Union Budget 2023, most of these trends look promising. As the govt drives prime focus on skilling, training and other areas in addition to telecom expansion, the Indian EdTechs are excited.
Our predicted trends and experts’ inputs point to a much-needed remodelling in the edtech industry, and we will witness the rise of tech innovations that solve real problems for the masses.
2023 will be defined by personalised learning, more profound AI and ML play, rebuilding of customers’ trust, new costs and revenue models, ample opportunities for skill development on educational and professional levels, customisation, and cutthroat competition that will be a breath of fresh air amid the hitting saturation in the Indian edtech industry.