Traditionally, the education sector has been women-dominated. If the edtech sector has a reputation as a haven for women in tech, it is likely due to a higher number of women founders and co-founders than other tech ventures.
A study reveals that 30% of edtech founders are women, nearly twice the number of women founders across other technology sectors. With the advent of technology in education, the edtech industry is one part of tech where women are taking the lead. However, the investment studies imply differently. As per a study by Wharton, edtech found-Hers obtain a disproportionately tiny slice of overall investment capital. A mere 2 to 6 percent of companies started by women receive venture capital funding. For women of color, the statistics are even more sobering: Roughly 0.32 percent of funding awarded over the past decade went to Latin American women, and for African American women, the number was a tiny 0.0006 percent.
These are the figures from an industry where investments of $2.1 billion were made in 2020, more than what the industry has gained in the last decade. The edtech industry is further expected to reach $12 billion by 2025. The capital is out there. But when it comes to funding, women-led enterprises continue to be overlooked.
While emerging female-founded techs are making a difference, funding remains a significant obstacle. Nevertheless, women-owned edtechs are thriving. In light of International Women’s Day 2022, we’ve curated a list of flourishing edtechs founded and co-founded by women who are smashing the stereotypes and changing the face of edtech.
Natasha Jain and Sonia Agarwal Bajaj started Whiz League to help young learners have clarity on their career paths. The learning platform offers pre-recorded learning modules in non-academic and career-specific skills that can benefit learners Upskill and stay relevant to the market demands. Industry experts such as Guru Randhawa, Chef Ranveer Brar, Mukesh Chhabra, and others are sharing their insights on their expertise. The platform also allows students to submit an assignment and stand a chance to collaborate with the experts after completing the course. Whiz League was launched in April 2021.
Ekta Grover started Shunya Impact in August 2020 from Bengaluru. It’s a classroom learning management system for K-12 students. The tool uses the latest machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies allowing students and teachers to post class notes and assignments digitally and receive assessment feedback and remedial education assistance. The company was also named among the Top 100 edtech companies in India in November 2020.
This Bengaluru-based startup aims to give equal footing to extracurricular learning in India’s education ecosystem. The company was founded by Anushree Goenka, Kaustubh Khade, Namita Goel, and Jyothika Sahajanandan. The common chord among the founders is the belief that co-curricular activities can go a long way in shaping a student’s creative and cognitive abilities. The platform offers a variety of courses in music, speech and debate, and visual arts for children between the ages of six and fifteen.
The global edtech unicorn has a female co-founder, Divya Gokulnath. BYJU’S is a global ed-tech company that offers effective learning solutions that are adaptive and engaging. The company has a user base of over 150 million students globally. Founded in 2011, the company aims to make quality learning accessible for students across the globe.
LessonLeap is based out of Mumbai and offers live courses in extracurricular courses. The platform has a variety of courses on public speaking, language learning, and writing. The platform stands out by imparting education by engaging students in fun hands-on activities. Founded in October 2020 by the founder Anusha and Deepti Sahi, the company targets students from kindergarten to the sixth grade. It aims to expand further in India and venture into international markets like Singapore, the UAE, and London.
Erin Osborn found BetterLesson in 2008. It offers professional development opportunities for educators by connecting K-12 educators with comprehensive professional learning solutions. The platform brings forward research-based, student outcomes-based professional development opportunities that enables educators to gain the necessary skills to create meaningful student-centered learning experiences that meet all students’ needs.
Shreya Nallapaneni, Suraj Singh, and Kalpit Shah founded Academix in January 2020. They aim to solve the skill gap among job seekers and employers through their Upskilling platform. The company offers a variety of courses in management, communication, designing, new-age technologies, Microsoft skills, and digital marketing. It targets explicitly engineering graduates and makes them job-ready with skills in demand. However, the platform is equally helpful for learners from varied educational backgrounds looking to Upskill.
Joanna Smith’s edtech company is curbing chronic absenteeism in K-12 schools with mobile messaging powered by artificial intelligence (A.I.). The tool uses evidence-based interventions and helps K-12 school districts implement family outreach strategies and track which ones effectively get students to show up at school regularly. Believing that the achievement gap is directly related to absenteeism, the company is not only curbing the concern of missing school but also indirectly helping students reach their full potential by assisting them to be regular and dedicated to their schools.
Rachel Carlson and Brittany Stich lead guild Education. The company became the fourth education company in recent years to be founded by women and is valued at over one billion dollars. The company is bridging the gap between employers and employable employees by offering Upskilling opportunities. The company started in 2015, and Guild works with leading Fortune 1000 employers such as The Walt Disney Company, Discovery, Walmart, Chipotle, and Lowe’s to transform their education & upskilling programs through Guild’s technology platform payment system, and learning marketplace.
Daphne Koller’s Coursera is one of the first few popular edtechs, started in 2012. It’s an online education company serving over 20 million registered learners by partnering with 140 of the world’s best universities and education institutions. The platform features online courses that anyone anywhere can access. It has a repository of over 1,000 online courses and Specialisations in dozens of fields. The platform is helpful for people seeking to learn and Upskill to achieve meaningful career, educational, and personal enrichment goals throughout their lives.
Donna Hooker is the woman behind MSM HigherEd. It provides administrative and academic management solutions in higher education, driving the highest quality educational, vocational and English language programming. Students graduating from MSM HigherEd are equipped with skills to enter the workforce employment ready or advanced their studies at leading universities.
Emma Lancaster is the founder of Study Group. The platform offers customized learning programs across higher education and for language learning. It is a global network of specialist education counselors and nearly 200 university partnerships across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.
Aarti Gupta is the CEO and Co-founder at Qin1. The company focuses on children between the ages of five to 14 and offers personalized live classes across various subjects. Qin1 provides a customized learning experience for each student by providing them choice in terms of teacher selection, course design, and medium of delivery.
Aditi Avasthi is the founder and CEO of Enbibe. One of the first few popular edtechs, Embibe offers educational services for students. It helps students develop and enhance their academic standards through personalized feedback. Embibe was founded in 2012and is a Mumbai-based edtech startup that combines technology and data sciences to help students better prepare for complex, competitive exams (MCCE) like JEE Main, JEE Advanced, BITSAT, and CET/AIPMT.
Anuradha Agarwal is the woman behind this language learning platform. Multibhashi focuses on the learning outcomes while keeping the learning process fun and intuitive. The content onboard is designed by linguist experts across major Indian languages imparted via Cloud LMS, streaming video, cloud telephony, real-time chat, gamification, experiential learning, and interactive evaluation leading to adaptive learning by the user. The company was founded in 2017 and is based in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
Divanshi Gupta is the founder of Ucanji, which started in 2014. It’s an online marketplace where learners can access extracurricular courses at affordable prices. The platform aims to be the go-to site for students that offers simple, economic, and accessible skill development for children across India. Ucanji provides an assortment of pre-recorded lessons via superior technology to children willing to learn and advance their skills.
Barbara Yu is the CEO and Founder of UniCareer. It is an online platform that targets various stages of professional development needs and creates customized solutions that generate proven, long-term impact for students and working professionals.
Beatrice Lonascu, the CTO and Co-Founder, started ImagiLabs in 2018. It builds customizable gadgets through coding from a mobile app and a community for teenage girls to share their interest in coding.
Cecilia Hevia is the CEO and Co-Founder at MentorPro. It focuses on redefining learning through mentorship. The platform bridges the gap between students and mentors, ensuring that students have experiential learning, guidance, and all the help they need.
Clarissa Chang is the CCO and Co-Founder of FutureLab.my. It’s a global online mentoring platform that bridges the gap between university students and professionals to career mentors who can help students with mentoring and guidance. Mentees can gain informal career advice, guidance, and required help to upskill themselves and make informed career decisions.
Corinne Bowman, COO and Co-Founder, and Tim Bowman, Founder & CEO, founded ClassCreator in 2014. It’s a student placement software for schools that enables users to create balanced classes, conduct teacher surveys, send placement alerts, gain feedback, etc. The tool utilizes the teacher Logic algorithm and helps create balanced classrooms in terms of gender, class size, behavior, academics, special education, ESL, and social dynamics.
Jessie Woolley-Wilson, The CEO and President at DreamBox Learning is a two-time recipient of EdTech Digest’s “EdTech Leadership Award” for her work in transformative innovation in education. She also has been named a “Top 100 Influencers in EdTech.” The lady also features on Forbes’ “Impact 15” list for being a disruptor in education, and The New York Times featured Jessie in its Corner Office column. DreamBox Learning is a popular name in the list of adaptive learning solutions. It offers a robust curriculum, an engaging gaming environment, and a data-driven and real-time adaptive engine for online math instruction and assessment for K-5 students.
Maria del Mar Velez is the CEO and Founder of Crack The Code. The company started in 2017 and is based out of Latin America and is an online academy empowering children and the youth through code and technology. As per the founder, the company was born from the lack of focus on programming in schools to provide this knowledge to children and adolescents.
Miora Randriambeloma is the Co-founder of this Ghana-based edtech. It started in 2015 and offers a SaaS-based, mobile-first, offline-first, e-learning distribution platform for NGOs across the World. The company eases out the process of making training materials accessible without the need for the internet.
Cindi Mi is the CEO and Co-founder of this online teaching platform VIPKid. It’s a virtual classroom portal that connects native English teachers with Chinese students aged 5 to 12 years old. VIPKid is valued at over $3 billion, China’s market-leading edtech startup.
Kimberly Bryant founded Black Girls Code in February 2011. The aim was to bridge the opportunity gap in tech fields for black women and girls. Since then, the non-profit company has established 15 chapter cities in the U.S. and abroad, hosting technology workshops, hackathons, and other enrichment opportunities for over 30,000 Black girls. The company is targeted toward teaching girls between the ages of 7 to 17.
Carol Barash is the founder of Story2, a platform used to expand speaking, writing, and collaboration through online storytelling. The platform uses the power of storytelling and teaches to communicate authentically and collaborate effectively. The platform has taught over 200,000 students and professionals to improve their writing and speaking confidence and build essential 21st-century speaking, writing, storytelling, and collaboration skills.
Eleanor Cooper is the CEO and Co-founder at Pathstream. It is a web-based platform for teaching in-demand tech skills for work. The company started in 2018 and is based out of San Francisco, California, United States. Pathstream partners with industry-leading tech companies and higher education institutions to provide digital learning solutions for upskilling. The platform allows students to access pre-configured project-based instruction, realistic workplace simulations, and on-demand coaching.
Forum Desai is the Co-founder of SchoolMint. It helps schools and families manage the admission process through its school enrollment and school choice platform. The company started in 2013, and ever since, over 6000 schools have partnered with SchoolMint to streamline all aspects of student enrollment. The platform integrates with leading student information systems (SIS) and transforms the end-to-end enrollment experience for school staff and parents.
Fiona Boyd is the woman behind EdSmart. Founded in 2014, EdSmart has evolved into the go-to enterprise solution for improving workflows and reducing stakeholder workload. EdSmart has a global customer community-based in Melbourne, Australia, with educational institutions across eight countries.
Genevieve Gilmore is the CEO of Prosper Education. It is a global education provider of ELT, marketed under RoyalABC. RoyalABC offers a blended learning Teacher Platform and APP to early learning centers and kindergartens across China, delivering the British English language, Growth Mindset, and 21st Century skills education to 3-6-year-olds. The platform features a repository of pre-built English lessons and DIY projects. Teachers can use these lesson plans and teach students and assign tasks for practice.
Grace David is the CEO of Edukasyon. It is the leading edtech platform in the Philippines. The platform helps students make informed decisions toward a fulfilling career. Students can access information on their career options, senior high schools, universities, colleges, scholarships, online courses, internships, etc. The company also partners with education institutes, corporations, and foundations to equip the youth with the necessary knowledge and help them create and shape their ways.
Heidi Holmes is the COO and Co-founder at Mentorloop. It is a software platform designed to help organizations run effective mentoring programs for better engagement, retention and productivity. The platform offers an accessible approach to mentoring. Organizations’ stakeholders can achieve better results in life and work with Mentorloop in action.
Ingel Keskpaik is the Co-founder and COO at Speakly. The company offers online resources for language learning. They have utilized a spaced repetition technique to teach vocabulary specific to different areas like travel, work, study abroad, and more. It allows individuals to learn multiple languages, including French, Russian, German, etc. The company was founded in 2016 and is based out of Tallinn, Estonia.
Jessie Chen is the Co-founder of VIPKid. The platform connects teachers in North America with children worldwide for real-time English immersion learning online. It is based out of Beijing, China, and started in 2013. The platform connects students with the best teachers and ensures that every student’s personalized education needs are met through immersive learning experiences. The platform connects over 500,000 paying students with over 60,000 teachers in the U.S. and Canada.
Jo Besford is a Director of Green Shoots, an education social enterprise from South Africa. Green Shoots uses online learning analytics, cloud-based resources, and continuing professional development programs to implement data-informed decision-making across schools and education districts. Jo also advocates for the targeted use of edtech to promote quality education for all learners.
Lucy Lloyd is the CEO and Co-founder of Mentorloop. It is a subscriber-based web application that makes mentoring programs easier to start, run, and participate in. The tool makes mentoring relationships more accessible for more vigorous talent development, knowledge management, and succession planning within organizations.
Maheen Adamjee is the CEO and Co-founder of Dot & Line, founded in 2018 in Pakistan. It is a robust live marketplace matching students with vetted and certified teacher partners across the K-12 segment. The company promises to boost learning outcomes in just four months through blended learning programs. Alongside a powerful and robust vetting and recruitment portal with deep analytics, IGNITE teacher training and solid metrics, and evaluation tools help ambitious women worldwide join the growing community of Dot and Line teacher partners and start earning from home. Dot & Line is a trusted brand with B2B partnerships with leading schools, recognition from top media outlets worldwide, and a student network spanning 12 countries.
Mariana Garza Villalobos is the CEO at InverKids. The tool enables children and young people to learn the value of money through homework assigned by you, with which they will fulfil their established goals and dreams. Parents can teach their children to manage and uniquely save their money and send them money anytime. You can track their daily financial progress and achievements and receive personalized reports for each child on their finances and new knowledge. The tool is designed to give parents control over children’s expenses while children, adolescents, and young people learn to manage finances and gain financial freedom.
Neeti Sharma is the Co-founder and President of TeamLease. It is one of the leading learning solution companies in India. The company works with leading Universities and Corporates across the country to make the youth employable. They do so by helping universities launch, run, and manage their online programs, enable institutes to improve their students’ employability through apprenticeship linked skilling programs, and help Corporates upskill & reskill their workforce to enhance productivity and build a talent supply chain. So far, the company has an exclusive partnership with 40 of India’s largest Universities across 16 Indian states, trains 3.5 Lakh students on its platform through 9 Indian languages, works with 4500 corporates in their upskilling/skilling initiatives, manages over 200 degrees, diploma, certificate programs.
Nisha Ligon, the CEO, and founder, is the woman behind Africa’s leading kids’ edutainment company, Ubongo. It creates top-quality, localized edutainment to help Africa’s 500 million kids learn and leverage their learning to change their lives. The company aims to equip Africa’s next generation with the educational foundation, critical skills, and positive mindsets to change their own lives and communities for the better. The company has impacted over 27 million African families through its edu-cartoons and radio programs.
Parul Gupta is the woman behind this Bay Area-based online learning platform that prepares students for “new economy” skills such as data analytics and A.I./machine learning with its comprehensive, mentor-led online programs.
Parita Parekh is the Co-founder and Head of Learning at Toddle. The company aims to empower teachers to deliver meaningful learning experiences by creating easy-to-use web tools that support teachers in becoming more effective at all stages of their teaching journey. Their first product is a collaboration platform for the IB PYP. Teachers can plan together, encourage student agency, personalize learning, and involve families on one user-friendly platform.
Priya Lakhani is the CEO and Founder of the company. The company combines the latest research in learning science, artificial intelligence, and neuroscience to ensure evidence-based scientific and pedagogical techniques underpin Century.
Rakhi Wadhwa is the founder of Knorish, which empowers learners to attend skill-based courses. The platform offers various skill-based courses curated by Experts, Institutes, and Organisations with our support in Filmmaking for education, Academic structure, Multilingual dubbing support, and monetization of the content.
Founded in December 2019, the Bengaluru-based startup was founded by Rupika Taneja. The company offers live coding classes to K-12 students. The platform offers four different programs: Scratch, app development, web development, and Python for age groups 5-9, 9-14, and 14-16. The classes are held twice or thrice a week and offer flexibility to students to have options that suit their schedule. It stresses community and peer-to-peer learning.
Sarita Chand is an Ex-Co-founder at EduPristine. It is a leading training provider in Accounting and Finance. Founded in 2008, EduPristine has a solid online platform, a network of classrooms across India, and caters to self-paced learning, online learning, and classroom learning. Trusted by Fortune 500 Companies and 50,000+ students across the globe.
Shweta Doshi is the founder of GreyAtom. The company helps learners launch their successful careers in DataScience, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning & other emerging technologies with our industry-focused courses.
Smita Deorah started LEAD School in 2012 from Mumbai. The company aims to provide excellent school education at affordable fee structures to students in small towns, villages and talukas. They do so by running and managing their K-12 schools and partnering with affordable private schools across the country to transform teaching/learning within their school. The partnered schools are equipped with modern learning tools, including Teacher Tablets with pre-loaded LEAD Teachers’ App & video content for better understanding, specially designed apps for School Owners, Parents, Faculty, and Students, world-class internationally accepted curriculum, exclusive coding programs, and certified teacher training to expand Teachers’ skill set and adapt to the changing times. The company has a network of over 2000 LEAD Powered Schools across India, transforming the lives of more than 8,00,000 students and 10,000 teachers.
Sonya Hooja, the Co-founder and Director, started Imarticus Learning in 2012. based out of Mumbai, it is one of the famous and leading future tech-based professional education brands, dedicated to shaping the future workforce through cutting-edge new age programs in Data Science & Analytics, A.I., Machine Learning, FinTech, Investment Banking, Finance, Marketing and much more.
Tanushree Nagori, Co-founder at Doubtnut, started the company in 2016. based out in Gurugram, it leverages technology to make education accessible for all. The company offers a doubt-solving app for students where students can ask study questions in Math by clicking the picture of the problem or concept. Subject matter experts create a Khan Academy-style video to answer each doubt.
I am sure there would be a few interesting ones I might have missed; please continue to add them to the list in the comment section.