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7 Failed EdTech Startups & their Case Studies

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There are a lot of things to consider when building a new startup - where to get funding, how to validate your idea, and what features should the product have.

One of the challenges is finding a market that is willing to pay for your solution without even knowing what it is yet.

However, 90% of startups will fail and shut down.

In this article, you can find 7 failed EdTech startups as well as analyses on why they closed down.


7 Failed EdTech Startups

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Kno

Kno

Kno introduced double paneled e-textbooks. Despite raising $80M, the company saw its chances of scaling up diminish once Apple introduced its iconic iPad.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Babur Habib, Osman Rashid

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Education

  • Started in:

    2009

  • Closed in:

    2013

  • Nº of employees:

    +10,000

  • Funding Amount:

    > $50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Competition

You can read more about their failure here.

Rafter

Rafter

Rafter was a course material provider for colleges. They had lots of competition and had to deal with logistical, financial, and market challenges.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Sara Leoni

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Education

  • Started in:

    2006

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Nº of employees:

    50-100

  • Funding Amount:

    > $50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Competition

You can read more about their failure here.

SchoolGennie

SchoolGennie

SchoolGennie provided solutions that saved time, reduced costs, and helped make better decisions on schools. But they didn’t test their product-market fit.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Amit Gupta, Pardeep Goyal

  • Country:

    India

  • Industry:

    Education

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2014

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Experience

You can read more about their failure here.

Tutorspree

Tutorspree

Tutorspree wanted to enhance tutoring. Their vision of pairing up tutors and students to meet up in person was not practical, which made it shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Aaron Harris, Josh Abrams, Ryan Bednar

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Education

  • Started in:

    2010

  • Closed in:

    2013

  • Nº of employees:

    50-100

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Marketing

You can read more about their failure here.

Lernin Games

Lernin Games

Jordi Miró has been building products and companies since 2007. After a successful CTO experience in Wuaki TV, he founded Lernin Games, an EdTech startup focused on toddlers. He raised €1.5M and built a team of 10, but Lernin ran out of cash and the project couldn’t succeed.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Jordi Miró

  • Country:

    Spain

  • Industry:

    Education

  • Started in:

    2017

  • Closed in:

    2019

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$5M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Pactero

Pactero

Wes founded Pactero, a platform to simplify the process of managing income share agreements. He confused the initial launch hype with market validation, but it was vanity. The business made around $180 total after spending $55k.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Wes Wagner

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Education

  • Started in:

    2020

  • Closed in:

    2021

  • Funding Amount:

    $100K-$500K

  • Specific cause of failure:

    No Market Need

You can read more about their failure here.

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 until they shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Kaito Cunningham

  • Country:

    Canada

  • Industry:

    Education

  • Started in:

    2018

  • Closed in:

    2020

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Management

You can read more about their failure here.

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