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Want to work for an Ed Tech unicorn?

Are unicorns imaginary creatures? Not in the Ed Tech industry. Ed Tech unicorns are very real and they can be an exciting place to build the Ed Tech career of your dreams. In this blog, we explain why.

What are tech unicorns?

In short, “unicorn” is a term that has long been used to describe the dream outcome of any startup founder: a valuation of over $1 billion before becoming publicly traded.

There is no specific functional significance to the $1 billion mark: it simply recognizes companies that have demonstrated immense potential to inventors, even before an IPO on the stock market.

Tech unicorns may include a wide variety of companies that meet these criteria, including startups in spaces ranging from AI, to data analytics, to fintech, to health. Generally, the unicorn classification is considered relevant to startups. Once a company becomes a mature market participant with limited growth upside, it is no longer considered a unicorn, even if it has not gone public.

At any given time, unicorns are a relatively select club This project from CBInsights provides some useful context:

  • While the number of tech unicorns hit a 60-year low in Q1 2023, there remain over 1200 unicorn companies worldwide.
  • Unicorn companies are worth about $3.83 trillion globally.
  • The US is home to about 54% of unicorn companies, but 51 different countries are represented in the unicorn club.

Where do Ed tech unicorns fit into this picture?

Unicorns in the Ed Tech Industry

The Ed Tech industry is well represented in the unicorn club. According to research by Global EdTech, there are a total of 28 Ed Tech unicorns worldwide in 2023. The vast majority are located in North America and Asia, with 15 located in the United States. HolonIQ provides a comprehensive, regularly updated list of global Ed Tech unicorns here.

 When reviewing these numbers, it’s important to keep in mind that many companies eventually “graduate” from unicorn status. Once a company goes public, it is no longer counted as a current unicorn. Recent high-profile examples of former Ed Tech unicorns that matured into publicly traded companies include:

  • Coursera, which held an IPO in March 2021 valuing the company at over $7 billion. It currently holds a market capitalization just under $2 billion.
  • Duolingo, which also debuted on the stock market in 2021 to the tune of a $5  billion valuation. It is currently valued over $6 billion.
  • PowerSchool, a provider of cloud-based software for K-12 education, also had its IPO in 2021, with a valuation of approximately $3.5 billion.

Many candidates are attracted to Ed Tech due to its unique combination of proven growth potential and meaningful, socially impactful work. And Ed Tech unicorns exhibit the pinnacle of this benefit: they have already proven to have impactful business models with exciting growth potential. We take a deeper look at six reasons to consider starting an Ed Tech industry career in our blog here.

How can you find work with an Ed Tech unicorn?

If you are interested in launching or advancing a career in Ed Tech with a position at an Ed Tech unicorn, we are here to help. In fact, HighFive Partners manages the largest industry-specific job platform in Ed Tech. We are proud to feature job postings from unicorn employers. And we also feature job postings from a number of exciting, startup companies that have the potential to be the next Ed Tech unicorn!

If you are interested, we invite you to sign up for the job platform here.