Failed EdTech Startups

5 Failed EdTech Startups & Analyses on Why they Failed

Here are 5 EdTech startups that have shut down in the last years, analyses on their failure, and interviews with their founders.

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Ed-tech startups are on the rise lately.

This means more successful businesses… but at the same time, more failures.

Here’s a quick list of 5 ed-tech startups that have shut down.

5 Failed Ed-Tech Startups

1) Rafter

Rafter

Rafter was a textbook and course material provider for schools and colleges. The main reason for their failure was that Rafter had much competition from the start and it had to deal with both logistical, financial and market challenges from the onset.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders: Sara Leoni
  • Country: United States
  • Started in: 2006
  • Closed in: 2016
  • Nº of employees: 50-100
  • Funding Amount: $86M
  • Specific cause of failure: Competition

You can read more about Rafter‘s failure here.

2) Kno

Kno

Kno Inc. was a California based educational software startup that introduced double paneled e-textbooks. Despite having raised close to $80 million in venture capital the company quickly saw its chances of scaling up diminish drastically once Apple introduced its now iconic iPads and iPhones.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders: Aaron Harris, Josh Abrams, Ryan Bednar
  • Country: United States
  • Started in: 2010
  • Closed in: 2013
  • Nº of employees: +10,000
  • Funding Amount: $94.9M
  • Specific cause of failure: Competition

You can read more about Kno’s failure here.

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3) Tutorspree

Tutorspree

Tutorspree wanted to enhance the way tutoring is done. Tutorspree's vision of pairing up tutors and students to meet up in person so as to create and maintain a real connection was commendable but not practical, which provoked their failure.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders: Aaron Harris, Josh Abrams, Ryan Bednar
  • Country: United States
  • Started in: 2010
  • Closed in: 2013
  • Nº of employees: 50-100
  • Funding Amount: $1.8M
  • Specific cause of failure: Bad marketing

You can read more about Tutorspree’s failure here.

4) Notezilla

Notezilla

Ada is a 24-year-old trans woman who 8 years ago built Notezilla, the Wikipedia for High-School notes site after finding that her summaries about Shakespeare books were enjoyed by her partners. But she completely failed to find an audience for her business and had to shut it down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders: Ada Des Etages
  • Country: Trinidad and Tobago
  • Started in: 2010
  • Closed in: 2015
  • Nº of employees: 1-10
  • Funding Amount: None
  • Specific cause of failure: Bad marketing

You can read more about Notezilla’s failure here.

5) Community Coders

Community Coders

While in university, Kaito started Community Coders, a business that connected companies looking for web development and digital marketing services with high school students. However, as the months went over, it became difficult to close deals and the startup began to lose its course.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders: Kaito Cunningham
  • Country: Canada
  • Started in: 2018
  • Closed in: 2019
  • Nº of employees: 1-10
  • Funding Amount: None
  • Specific cause of failure: Bad marketing

You can read more about Community Coders’ failure here.

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That’s all for our list of ed-tech failed startups.

Let me know at hello@failory.com if I’ve missed any failure case.

If you want to keep learning from failed startups, you should go to our Cemetery and interviews with failed startup founders.

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