September 12, 2020

As the world goes virtual, big education technology players tighten their grip

Even as the country skidded to a dystopian halt in the first days of the pandemic, Sam Chaudhary and his colleagues found themselves with more work than they had ever seen.

Chaudhary is co-founder of the education technology provider ClassDojo, which enables kindergarten through eighth grade students, teachers and parents to share content, schedules and feedback — an obvious and critical need as education abruptly became remote.

“We woke up on a Monday and saw 10 to 15 times” the number of customers the company had served at the same time the year before, he remembered. “It was nuts.”

That ed-tech firms are attracting lots of business in a newly virtual world likely doesn’t come as a surprise. What might be is that not all of them are making money from it.

Analysts cite ClassDojo as an exception, with a model that gives its services away for free to teachers but charges families up to $7.99 a month to keep kids learning at home.

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