Silicon Valley VC Firm Owl Raises $1 Billion for EdTech Bets
(Bloomberg) -- Silicon Valley’s Owl Ventures raised more than $1 billion for venture-capital funds targeting education-tech companies, increasing its backing for an industry that’s grown rapidly during the pandemic.
Owl, which focuses on edtech investments, closed $640 million for its fifth fund, $270 million for its Opportunity Fund II and more than $100 million for special purpose vehicles, the firm said in a release on Wednesday. That brings the company’s assets under management to over $2 billion.
The firm has backed more than half-a-dozen edtech providers around the world valued at $1 billion or over, including India’s Apna and Byju’s, the country’s most valuable startup. Such companies are benefiting from pandemic-fueled growth in hybrid learning and remote training programs, as well as artificial intelligence-driven education.
“The $6+ trillion education sector is the second-largest industry in the world, and it is expected to double or triple in the coming decade,” Amit Patel, managing director of Owl, said in an email. “With digital penetration in the sector estimated to be only around 2%-3%, we are in very early stages of a tremendous opportunity.”
Owl’s portfolio spans startups in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. The firm invests across the learning industry from K-12 to higher education, as well as career and professional training.
Since its founding in 2014, Owl has invested in companies such as Degreed Inc., MasterClass and Newsela. Its limited partners, or LPs, include college and university endowments, foundations, education institutions, sovereign wealth funds and family offices across the globe.
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